Bold Miners ARLFC

Bold Miners ARLFC

Haresfinch 24 - Bold Miners 34

by Neil Hilton

New season starts with a win, but still room for improvements going forward.

Bold got their North West Men's League campaign off to the best possible start with a victory against their local rivals in a tough encounter at Haresfinch. Bold made a typical slow start to the game and a string of early errors and penalties conceded prevented them from putting any kind of pressure on their opponents in the opening exchanges. The home side had most of the possession and territorial advantage early on and despite starting well in defence Finch took advantage of the penalties awarded to them to go over for the first 2 tries and take a 12-0 lead. Bold were determined to get back in the game and did not want to lose another match to the Haresfinch side who had knocked them out of the NWC cup a few weeks earlier. Strong words from coaches Dave Hill and Geoff Newton inspired Bold to improve their performance and they came back more determined and improved their performance immediately. Hooker Gary Talbot was working hard to get Bold on the front foot and after good work by the forwards they were in good position and scrum half Kelvin Walkden took the chance to score a trademark individual try as he stepped his way past a number of defenders on his way to a try which was converted by stand-off Adam Welsby. Bold were now growing in confidence and felt if they could cut out the mistakes they would be able to take control of the game. There was strong tackling in the Bold ranks from Ant Parr, Mark Shaw, and Kelvin Walkden but again penalties for high tackles again piled the pressure onto Bold but their goalline defence held strong this time. Some great runs from Tommy Higgins, Andy Murray and captain Paul Johnson put Bold into a good attacking position and they shifted the ball from one side to the other and went close but couldn't get over the whitewash. Great defence led by Gary Talbot and Paul Johnson kept Finch pinned in their own half and on the next attack drives from Liam Crehan & Andy Murray put the Miners in position for Kelvin Walkden & Ian Webster to combine and put Liam Crehan storming over for the second try and the conversion from Adam Welsby tied the score at 12 all. Good running from Andy Murray & Andy Leyland from the restart but the ball was lost, great tackling from Neil Hilton & Liam Crehan held their opponents back and they gave a relieving penalty to Bold after being caught out for crossing. There was a series of handling errors from both sides in the next few minutes but there was in this period barnstorming runs from Tommy Higgins and good defence again led by Gary Talbot & Paul Johnson. A good kick from Finch towards the in goal area was dealt with well by full back Ian Webster and on this set Bold went virtually the length of the field, but they couldn't register any more points before the ref blew for half time leaving honours even after the opening 40 minutes.

Straight from the second half kick off 3 strong drives from Mark Shaw, Andy Leyland and Liam Crehan saw Crehan score his second despite the attentions of a host of defenders as took them over the line with him to touchdown an unconverted try and give Bold the lead for the first time. Bold were now starting to play more flowing rugby but both teams started to concede penalties as the tackling became a lot more agressive, one of these penalties resulted in the next Haresfinch try as the stand off dummied his way through to give Finch the lead once more at 18-16. A mistake from the kick off gave Bold a scrum and straight from this the ball went out and Adam Welsby in the centres had too much pace and power on his way to the line for a try that was converted by Ian Webster to put Bold back in front. A massive hit from Adam Welsby got Bold fired up and some excellent communication and teamwork from Gary Talbot and Kelvin Walkden saw Talbot score a perfect try under the posts which Webster once again converted to give Bold a 10 point advantage. 2 consecutive penalties awarded to Bold saw a Haresfinch player shown a yellow card after repeated warnings from the ref. Bold were unlucky not to score on the next set and tireless running from Liam Crehan and Tommy Higgins and keen defence from Adam Welsby and Paul Martin kept Miners in good attacking position and a tremendous effort to put the ball from one side of the pitch to the other gave Walkden the opportunity to get his second try after a great solo run and the conversion took the score out to 18-34. Bold were straight back in their opponents half and after a 10 minute break giant Jonathon Rattigan smashed his opponent to win the ball back and Bold went close again without being able to claim a try. More errors from the home team kept Bold on the attack with good running from Andy Leyland and Gary Talbot. Haresfinch now got back on the attack, good tackling from Mark Shaw & Dave Quigley kept them out at first, but a lapse in concentration in defence allowed Finch to score at the side of the posts. A perfect kick off from Ian Webster won the ball back for Bold, Neil Hilton went close and then Paul Martin was held up over the line, there was only 1 more tackle to play before the final whistle to leave the score at 24-34.

Grundy Excavations Man of the Match was Liam Crehan supported by impressive displays from Higgins, Walkden, Shaw & Talbot. Almost inevitably captain Paul Johnson was the top tackler.

Bold will be pleased to get the season started with a victory but will feel that they need to improve on their set completion and discipline to continue to be successful during this summer season.

Team:

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1. Ian Webster
2. Colin Slater
3. Andy Leyland
4. Mark Shaw
5. Dave Quigley
6. Adam Welsby
7. Kelvin Walkden
8. Andy Murray
9. Gary Talbot
10. Tim Gladwin
11. Neil Hilton
12. Liam Crehan
13. Paul Johnson

14. Ant Parr
15. Tommy Higgins
17. Paul Martin
20. Jonathon Rattigan

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Haresfinch 24 34 Bold Miners

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