Bold crashed to their first defeat of the season against the top of the league Hornets who despite a below par performance from the Miners fully deserved their victory.
Bold made a lively start and on their first attack made good ground through runs from Liam Crehan
and Andrew O'Dowd
and a burst from hooker Kelvin Walkden
, the first defensive set restricted the home sides gain but an error from the kick gave them a scrum deep in Bold territory and a blind side move saw the winger go in for an unconverted try to take an early lead. Bold hit back almost immediately when Crehan forced an error in defence, from the scrum an attempted intercept gave Bold another scrum and on this set they moved towards the opposition line, an offload from O'Dowd to Crehan and a quick play the ball allowed Kelvin Walkden
the opportunity to score one of his trademark tries as he went from dummy half and Ian Webster
added the conversion to take the lead 6-4.
From the kick off a dubious knock on decision put Farnworth back on the attack but the defence held strong, however a scuffle saw the referee showing the yellow card to Ian Webster
and the Farnworth hooker. A Miners knock on followed by a penalty for dissent had the home side on the attack and they shifted the ball right to left and the centre got the ball to get the winger in enough space to go over for the touchdown and the conversion made it 10-6 and a lead the Hornets would not relinquish. Farnworth went on the attack again almost immediately, but Gaz Langley operating at fullback with Webster still in the sin bin cut down the centre with a great try saving tackle. With Bold back in possession centre Mark Shaw made a break and got the ball to wingman Mark Rushton but he was unable to get away from his opposite number, an excellent chase and tackle of his own kick from Andy Dobson followed up by some strong defence looked to have the homw side pinned on their own line, but again a penalty conceded by the Miners relieved the pressure.
Once again Gaz Langley was called upon to make a try saving tackle, but 2 tackles on and the loose forward found a gap to step through and score under the posts a try that was disputed by all on the Bold sideline as they felt the referee should have held up play with 2 Miners down with injuries, the conversion extended the lead to 16-6 after 20 minutes.
For the remainder of the half Bold threw everything at the home defence to try and get back on terms, a break from Dobson led to a penalty but a poor pass led to the ball changing hands, the next attack saw Liam Crehan
bursting through the defence and the ball went on through Andy Leyland
, Dobson and Mark Shaw but the ball was intercepted as the Miners tried to force the play despite it being only the first tackle. Bold were playing some good rugby now and Langley, Crehan and Walkden all went close, but the Hornets goal line defence continued to hold strong in the pressure.
With half time approachin Andrew O'Dowd
tried to unlock the defence with a 'Whitey' and as he was took out after the pass the referee gave another Farnworth player 10 minutes for the late shot. Another strong run from Crehan put Bold into a good position to launch a final attack of the first half, and a long cutout pass from O'Dowd gave Gaz Langley the space he needed to get over for the second Bold try which was to be the last action of the half.
The second half started with another good attack from Bold and good runs from Shaw, Crehan and Walkden made lots of ground but again the defence held them up short of the line, Bold were making a lot of mistakes and not putting together any sustained periods of pressure onto the home team. A kick return from the winger looked like it would bring him a full length try but he was caught by prop forward Liam Crehan
, but unfortunately a penalty was conceded and a goal extended the lead to 18-10.
When in possession the Bold forwards Crehan, Tommy Higgins
and John Rattigan were making lots of yards but as in the first half they were unable to cross the line due to the excellent defensive effort of the home team. Despite the pressure it was the home team next on the scoresheet, a knock on called when the ball was stripped in a 2 man tackle put Farnworth in good position and they got the speedy winger on the outside and he had the hooker in support to cross for a converted try and put the score out to 24-10.
Miners had a period of sustained pressure, the forwards Stu Cranny
, Rattigan,Higgins and the always involved Crehan were continuing to get Bold into position to attack and forced repeat sets, the pressure finally told as the ball went on the blind side to the right and Ian Webster
squeezed in for an unconverted try to leave the score at 24-14 with 15 minutes remaining. The Miners felt they now had an opportunity to get back into the game if they could be next on the scoresheet, but as they tried anything to break the defence they were caught on the last tackle which gave Farnworth the ball in a good position to go onto the attack themselves and a clever kick from the hooker saw the wingman run onto it and touchdown for a try that was again converted and extended the lead to 30-14 with time running out.
The Miners did not want to give up and again threw everything at the Hornets defence in the closing stages, but as had been the case throughout the game the goal line defence held strong and closed out the game with no further scores.
The Grundy Excavation Man of the Match was Liam Crehan
and the top tackler went to captain Paul Johnson
1 Ian Webster
2 Mark Rushton
3 Mark Shaw
4 Gaz Langley
5 Colin Slater
6 Andy Dobson
7 Gaz Mercer
8 Stu Cranny
9 Kelvin Walkden
10 Liam Crehan
11 Andrew O'Dowd
12 Andy Leyland
13 Paul Johnson
14 Ste Dumphy
15 Tommy Higgins
16 Andy Murray
17 John Rattigan