Selby travelled across the Pennines for the semi-final of the regional U-17 competition, to face Bolton RUFC at home
Selby travelled across the Pennines for the semi-final of the regional U-17 competition, to face Bolton RUFC at home. Due to heavy overnight rain the going on the pitch could be best described as ‘soft’ with the colour of grass and mud in equal proportion, the unwary being caught out by the water hazards along the touchline. In this the latest battle of the roses, the Selby squad faced a determined Bolton pack, both having lost only one match apiece in their respective league fixtures.
At 2pm the referee called the teams to order and the game was on, initial contact found both teams weighing up the opposition, but it was Bolton that forced the early error with the referee awarding a penalty to Bolton in front of Selby’s goal for a transgression of the laws of the game. The well placed boot of the Bolton player opening the score sheet for a relatively easy three points. In a physical game both teams attacked and defended in equal measures, Selby were reward for their tenacity when they were themselves award a penalty, but rather take the kick for the 3 points to draw the scores level before half time, opted to ‘tap and go’ in an attempt to open up a lead by running the ball over Bolton’s try line, the attack was rebuffed and so the score stayed 3-0 at the interval.
First half score Bolton 3 Selby 0
After halftime lectures had been delivered by the coaches, Bolton came out determined to build on their first-half lead, with the home crowd cheering them on, Selby embarked on a series of great individual runs in an attempt to get themselves onto the score sheet, but appeared to be unable to penetrate the Bolton defence, the resulting turnover of the ball resulting in Bolton scoring two tries, converting one. The score standing at 15-0 with only ten minutes of play left, appeared to stir a feeling in the Selby team, that feeling can be described in one word pride. Selby were determined not to be going home without a point to their name, they had made the journey, now they were going to prove themselves worthy opponents, whether Bolton thought they had the match won, or whether the courage and pride of Selby prevented them giving up, will be the subject of much debate, but with renewed vigour and a passion that had been missing for the previous twenty minutes, Selby were able to run in two tries in quick succession. The first saw Michael Pegg go over in the corner, the second was a team effort which through continuous pressure and precise recycling of the ball, saw the recently returned Dean Spooner over the Bolton try line.
The referee blew his whistle for full-time and Bolton rejoiced in their victory, though Selby must have smiled with a degree of satisfaction of what they had achieved in the last ten minutes of play and a thought of what the score might have been if there had been a further five minutes to play.
Final score Bolton 15 – Selby 10
The Selby squad were:
Charlton McCoy (Captain), George Booth, Adam Calvert, Harry Crowson, Andrew Gibson, Tom Howard, Marcus Loveday, William Milburn, Connor Parker, Michael Pegg, Patrick Rowntree, Elliott Stringer, Matthew Walsh, Jacob Webster , Matty Williams, Dan White, James Doherty, Dean Spooner.