With Captain John Blackwell
sidelined with injury, Eugene Grimes, Jim Calveley away, Daniel Brown
and Vereti Bau unavailable Bowdon had their fair share of missing personnel.
The game opened with Ormskirk kicking off and a good take by Bowdon number 8 Ali Brighton
. Early exchanges saw Ormskirk pressing midfield asking questions of the Bowdon defense. Strong tackling by Stepahne and Setta backed up by Captain for the day Callum Baldwin and young scrum half Ben Loggenberg thwarted Kirks best efforts. The game developed slowly and at times was scrappy as both sides struggled for any rhythm. Bowdon were guilty of losing turn over ball on too many occasions and when prop Kyle Minish left the field after 15 minutes with a foot injury things were decidedly off kilter. However Connor Armstrong at 10 kicked for field position well and kept the forwards in play and on 24 minutes gave the lead to Bowdon from a penalty in front of the posts. The scores were levelled at 35 minutes when a penalty was awarded to Kirk for a high tackle. With Bowdon absorbing pressure the backline intermittently fired into life and as the half moved into injury time a loose clearance kick from Ormskirk was pounced upon. The ball was swiftly moved to right wing Phil Gare who took his opposition on the outside and raced down the line to score the first try of the match. Converted with ease by Connor Armstrong Bowdon led at half time 3 –10.
The second half began in much the same vein as the first, a stop start affair with injuries and scrappy play but gradually Ormskirk applied pressure. Always looking dangerous on their right left wing Pat Casson
was called upon to make a series of tackles with Loggenberg never to far away to help. Penalties to Ormskirk on 10 and 17 minutes filled the home side with a little more self - belief and adventure. It was no surprise when 25 minutes in the visitors lines were breached on the left as Kirk took the lead for the first time a successful conversion giving them a 16 – 10 lead. Plenty of time left but Bowdon were on the precipice. A further injury to fullback Oscar Ryan – Clarke saw Setta move to fullback, Gare into the centre and Alex Potts coming onto the right wing. Digging deep the forwards through Lamb, Landman and Neal Collinge lifted their work rate driving hard into the opposition. A series of phases and better ball retention and Bowdon gradually gained territory as they edged their way up field. Prop Gallagher was unfortunate when space opened in front of him as he broke in support down the right touchline, if only it had been 5m to the try line instead of 15m!
Not to be deterred the lads from the Clay showed great determination not to be out done and were justly rewarded when, following a powerful drive from Martin Gallagher
, Ali Brighton
flopped over the line under the sticks from the ensuing loose ball at the ruck. The conversion from Armstrong on the stroke of 40 minutes gave Bowdon a one-point knife-edge lead. 16 – 17.
The game was not done as injury time began. Ormskirk pressed hard but it was Bowdon who finished in ascendancy when the back line moved the ball left to find a rampaging Brighton in support who dived over the line in the corner for the final play of the game. The try was not given but the game was done.
An important away win for Bowdon as they prepare to face Warrinington at home this coming Saturday.
Good performance from all the replacements and good leadership from Baldwin.
Man of the match was Willie Landman