Aldwinians 12 - 17 Bolton
Second half recovery not enough to swing the balance of play.
Aldwinians started positively In the muddy conditions and had the early advantage in the first 9 mins with some strong drives from the forward pack, that had Bolton defending sternly. The visitors were forced into conceding a penalty but an error allowed Bolton to clear the danger.Another penalty followed for offside and Bolton had engineered a line out deep in the home half.The pack turned over the ball but then conceded yet another penalty which led to a rampaging Bolton pack taking the ball over the try line twice but being held up.The pressure was now on Aldwinians defence who gave a scrum penalty away, from which the lively Bolton scrum half took a quick tap to go over the line unchallenged on 17 mins with the conversion giving them a 0 - 7 lead.
The first half did not improve for the Aldwinians squad as they became more disjointed which the Bolton team exploited,Making light of the increasingly heavy ground they probed away at the widening gaps, as the work rate of the home side declined.Their efforts were rewarded with a second tryin the 38th minute to go in at the break 0 - 14 ahead.
As the second half got under way, and no doubt after some harsh words in the team talk, Aldwinians again started brightly, attacking from the outset and the forwards driving the ball forcefully into Boltons 22 zone.With the forwards moving play forward to the right,the backs were able to get on the front foot for a change.With half backs Gethin Edwards
and Callum McMahon
guiding the ball into midfield ,centre and coach Wynand Van Zyl took it on, recognised the midfield defence had come up flat ,and chipped a neat kick of the ball over to the left wing .This was gathered by brother, Mitchell Van Zyl
who slid over in the corner on 45 mins.to make it 5 - 12.
Bolton responded immediately with an attack on the right also employing a similar chip ball technique that had full back Wade Martin
at full stretch to gather but knock on.From the scrum Bolton drove into midfield, then moved right but the Aldwinians defence was more organised now and countered the progress.
With play reaching the hour mark,this was turning into a tight contest as Aldwinians refused to capitulate as they did in the first half.Having weathered the last storm they were back on the attack , with Bolton showing some signs of fracturing.The forwards hammered away into their opponents generating drives close to the try line but Bolton were resolute in defending.A 5mtre scrum had the Bolton pack in reverse and the scrum collapsed.The reset scrum also collapsed on the soft ground.On the third time of asking,the scrum went down again and the referee was of the opinion that the Bolton forwards had deliberately taken it down, and awarded a penalty try in the 62nd min.
With only two points the margin at 12-14, the final quarter was set for a grandstand finish.
Captain Andy Ormrod set the tone and led the way with a great run from catching the restart ball, taking play up to half way to the next phase of ruck and maul.Bolton used the kick to gain ground as the conditions got heavier still but Martin was up to the challenge at the back a made a useful touch clearance out of the 22 area.10 mins to go and Bolton pushed forward to protect their lead with territory.They were assisted with two successive penalties in midfield the second of which produced three points on 75 mins to widen the margin to 12 -17 which they protected until the final whistle.