For the second week running we were able to field a 20 man squad, and as seems to be the regular routine we had 4 more players making their Mets debut. Bolton RUFC veteran Stuart MacDonald was joined by two fellow Union players, Harry Dawber and Morgan Skeels-Caldwell, as well as Dave Hulme, a recent recruit from Rochdale.
Notoriously slow to start, we let the Away side open up a 22 point lead before we hit back with our first try. By this point we had already lost Half Back Martin Galland and Hooker Kieran Lockett to injury, so the team structure wasn’t as first planned by Head Coach Al Scarbrough, however, as we attacked the Aspull line a neat inside ball set Loose Forward Ryan Terry on his way before some majestic footwork saw him sidestep three players to score. Mark Dorning scraped the inside of the post with the conversion to add the extras points to our tally.
Another try by New Springs before half time made the score 26-6 but the game was far from over. Al rotated his forwards, giving rests to youngsters Harry Dawber and Joe Fraser-Taylor after impressive stints, and turning to the experience of Gareth Evans and Dave Hulme for the opening period.
We started well in the second half and immediately made our mark with another try, Neil Walsh bumping off several would be tacklers before touching the ball down to the left of the posts. With the conversion missed the gap was now down to 18 points.
As the game progressed we did show some good form to trouble the Wigan outfit, Morgan Skeels-Caldwell was a constant threat when taking the ball forward, whilst Centres Calem Thompson and Darren Robinson Jnr made good yards from dummy half. A left to right spread play saw Winger Martyn Mercer come within inches of scoring in the corner, only for his opposite number to do just enough to force him over the side line.
Unfortunately, as the heat took its toll our tackling started to drop off towards the end of the game allowing Aspull to run in three further tries before the end of the game. Defence is an issue we will be looking to address in training over the coming weeks, but for now the final score ended at 40-10 to Aspull New Springs.
Ryan Terry picked up his 5th Opposition Man of the Match award in 9 league games, with fellow stalwarts Neil Walsh and Mark Dorning named as runners up. Thoroughly deserving the Top Tackler award was Dan Johnson, who was playing at Full Back for the first time in his rugby career, as he was simply immense at the back and singlehandedly stopped several further would be tries from being scored.
We’re back on the road next week as we travel North to face Leyland Warriors A, looking to make amends for our previously poor display earlier in the season.