Aldwinians 6-15 Bolton – Match Report
Tuesday 12th January 2016 @ 16:12 by Mark Phillip
Denton & Audenshaw Sports

Article by Trevor Hulmes

High flying visitors grind out a narrow victory, but only after the Audenshaw based side gave them early second half resistance.

It wasn’t a day for lots of open running , but the squads made light of the heavy pitch conditions to provide plenty of entertainment for the spectators.

Both sides came into this match in winning form, with Aldwinians sealing two important consecutive away wins at Ashton u Lyne and Tyldesley to kick start a move up the league table.

Bolton, very keen to gain promotion after dropping back into the North Lancs & Cumbria League,had their sights set on a bonus point win similar to what they achieved over today’s host back in November.

Early tackling frailties allowed the Bolton backs to show their paces in the slippy conditions and Aldwinians had to defend for the first fifteen minutes.

A tackle from the evergreen Andy Gidman thwarted a midfield drive , earning a penalty to clear the danger.

Back came Bolton strongly as they peppered the defensive line with attacks.

A high tackle from Michael Tobin on 8 mins didn’t help matters and 10 mins in the sin bin impaired Aldwinians resistance.

Fortunately the penalty kick went wide but the subsequent drop out brought the Bolton pack into the game driving down the left side.

Impressive support play and inadequate cover from the home forwards enabled the first try on 13 minutes for a 0-5 lead.

It took until the end of first quarter for Bolton to have to defend in their own half , but this was short lived as faster in thought and deed, the Bolton squad recovered and moved back into midfield.

Past the half hour mark and it was all Bolton, attacking close to the rucks and mauls with support players.

Good tackling efforts were at a premium but Mike Moreland ,Rubin Holland and Andy Gidman in particular worked tirelessly to quell the attacks.

Not to be outdone a superb tackle from centre James Worrall on 37 mins stopped an attack in midfield and initiated a strong left to right run by the backs that showed that there were opportunities to get back into the game.

Whether this sparked an upbeat half time team talk or not, the attitude of the players as they started the second half was certainly more upbeat.

From the kick off there was more united pressure on the catcher and Bolton were harried into mistakes ,with the referee awarding an early penalty which Worrall sent over on 44 mins.

Aldwinians looked a different side in this sequence, with stand off Richard Mooney and then Worrall chipping the ball beyond the defensive line towards the touch line .

This led to an attacking line out on 20 metres , a clean take from second row Laurence Brough setting up a well organised rolling maul.

With scrum half Jay Burton darting infield with the ball, the Bolton defence were offside giving Worrall another penalty chance on 48 mins.

A clean conversion brought the score to 6-5 , and more particularly put doubt in the minds of the Bolton men, as the home side went in front.

Aldwinians were still in the ascendancy as the game moved on from the restart ,but it was critical that mistakes were starting to creep in ,rather than Bolton manufacturing good openings.

They were allowed back into the game through poor kicks out of hand when the ball was crying out to be kept in hand and driven forwards.

Then when possession was kicked away, Boltons willingness to run ball in hand was met with some mediocre tackling efforts.

A penalty outside Aldwinians 22 line on the right was run and driven forward .

There were tacklers but they were taken over the line as no one was organised to take out the Bolton forwards legs.

The converted try on 57 mins restored Boltons lead at 6 -12.

The momentum was Boltons and they dominated possession again , leading to a penalty on 63 mins – 6-15.

Most of the play in the final quarter was restricted to Aldwinians half and to a man, the home squad worked hard to deny Bolton any more chances to score.