Bold fell to their 2nd defeat of the season when a drop goal on the final play of the game gave the home side the victory in a game played in glorious conditions which neither side deserved to lose.
Bold got off to a less than perfect start when the kickoff sailed straight over the dead ball line, Leigh took a quick tap penalty and their centre found a gap in defence and only an excellent tackle from Andy Lynch
stopped him as he looked certain to score, Bold held strong for the remainder of the set to get the ball back and make 60 metres on their opening set. Penalties to either side saw the possession changing hands quickly, Bold regained the ball in their own 10 and went on the attack, some good skills and solo efforts from Kelvin Walkden
and Gary Talbot
were continued by Paul Johnson
and his great pass to Adam Welsby
saw him break through the defence and unselfishly pass on to wingman Lynch who stepped his way to the try line for the first points to which Welsby added the conversion for an early 6-0 lead. Bold made an error from the restart and were back under pressure straight away, but Colin Slater saved a try with a booming hit, but Mark Saunders
was then deemed to have knocked on. Gaz Langley, Tommy Higgins
and young Jack Mayor were running well and making good yards, and as the ball went out to scrum half Mark Saunders
he breezed through the home defence and as a try looked to be coming a forward pass was ruled. Bold were defending well, but the penalties started to come from both teams and the play was not free flowing as the ref punished both sides especially for dissent. When next on the attack a sweet kick from fullback Gaz Langley was just too long for the chasing pack. Andy Lynch
and Jack Mayor were both running well to help out the forwards who were tiring in the heat, and Bold were unlucky when Walkden was held up when just short of the line. Some great defence from Bold from Johnson, Leyland, Mayor and debutant Kyle Tallon cut short any attacks from the Leigh side, but despite good runs from Langley, Slater and Walkden, errors cut short the following Bold attacks. Bold were trying everything to get the next try, but despite the strong running of Liam Crehan
, Tommy Higgins
and Josh Comber
there was no way through the Leigh defence. Bold were then asked to defend their own line, and thought they had won the ball back through the defence of Higgins and Mayor, but the ref ruled a knock on from Crehan which gave Leigh another set deep in Bold territory and despite the great defensive efforts of Paul Davies
, Langley, Leyland and Talbot the home team scored in the corner on the stroke of halftime, the conversion was missed to leave Bold with a 2 point lead at half time.
Bold started the seond half in lively fashion and after good runs by Lynch and Langley, a late shot on Mark Saunders
brought a penalty which was followed by Tommy Higgins
and Liam Crehan
going on the charge. A couple of dubious referee decisions saw the Bold players and supporters frustrated which was made worse as the referee sent Gaz Langley to the sin bin as he questioned yet another dodgy decision. Bolds defence got tough in the face of this adversity and stood tall against the Leigh attackers. From their own line Bold came away with Walkden, Mayor and Slater all making good yards, and a penalty put Bold on the attack in the Leigh 20, however a mix up between Slater and Talbot handed the ball back and the home side raced 80 metres but the final pass was forward, 2 more knock ons from Bold restricted their attack, but they were lucky not to concede when Leigh were once again pulled back for a forward pass as they looked certain to score. Bold went close next when Neil Hilton, Josh Comber
and Walkden put them in good position, and a penalty gave them good attacking position but the ball was lost in the Leigh 10, however Bold were to regain possession almost immediately and a great solo effort from Adam Welsby
saw him go through the defence and get close before being held up, the ball went quickly through Saunders to the always available Gaz Langley who held off a couple of tacklers to score a try that went unconverted and gave Bold a 10-4 lead.
Leigh tried a short restart, but a knock on gave Bold a scrum, Josh Comber
made good yards, but another knock on stopped the attack short, tiredness was leading to some slack defending, but Hilton and Slater got the ball back with some good defence. Langley went on a superb solo run, but a bad pass at the ruck again saw Bold turn over possession once more and on this occasion they were made to pay as the home side crossed for their second try which was converted to leave the scores level at 10-10 with 7 minutes to play. Bold then tried everything to get another score to seal a victory and forced 2 drop outs and had drop goal attempts from Gaz Langley and Mark Saunders
charged down and left Leigh with only one attacking set to seal a victory themselves, which they did with a drop goal on the final play of the game to break the hearts of the Bold players and dent their league hopes as their rivals once again won.
The Grundy Excavations Man of the Match was Kelvin Walkden
but their were also good performances from Gaz Langley, Josh Comber
, Colin Slater and Jack Mayor. Captain Paul Johnson
once more was the top tackler.
Bold now have 2 very important home games coming up as they take on Lathford Albion and Halton Farnworth Hornets to try and remain around the top of the table.
1 Gaz Langley
2 Andy Lynch
3 Adam Welsby
4 Jack Mayor
5 Colin Slater
6 Kelvin Walkden
7 Mark Saunders
8 Andy Murray
9 Gary Talbot
10 Liam Crehan
11 Andy Leyland
12 Paul Davies
13 Paul Johnson
14 Kyle Tallon
15 Neil Hilton
16 Tommy Higgins
17 Josh Comber