The first league game of the 2017 season to take place at Greenhalgh’s Pavilion saw us host the A team of long established club Clock Face Miners.
The game couldn’t have started any worse as the youthful Clock Face ran in three early tries. Despite their age, they had several years of experience to fall back on due to Rugby League being the number one sport in St. Helens. When you compare that to Bolton, Rugby League is a minority sport which we at Bolton Mets are fighting our hardest to promote.
Captain Ste Hickey rallied his troops and helped stem the flow for a solid 10-15 period. Debutants Calem Thompson and Dan Johnson added some much needed steel to the defence once they were introduced from the bench, whilst the returning Andy Roberts put his body on the line by stepping up into the forwards from his previous Wing/Centre position.
The Miners increased their lead later in the half, but they were forced to spread the ball wide to get their points as the Mets defence stood firm down the middle. With 4 of the 6 tries converted the Away side had a 32-0 lead at the break.
The game was being played in the sweltering heat and this didn’t help the Mets cause at the start of the second half. Clock Face continued the scoring with another try but we soon opened our own account with a neatly worked try. Full Back Brad Maclure sprinted through, to chase down a Ste Hickey grubber kick, and successfully beat his opposite number to the loose ball before touching down. Mark Dorning converted the try to narrow the gap ever so slightly.
Trying to drive his side forward, Second Rower Josh Bourne continued to put his hand up for ball carries whilst being backed up by the hard running Loose Forward Ryan Terry. Interchanging with Terry was Paul Leigh, who was also making some good yards forward despite carrying an injury.
As the second half progressed the Miners were being frustrated by the Mets defence so had to up their game to get back to their scoring ways. Unfortunately for us, they were able to up their game and pull further away from the Home side with a couple of tries in the corner before a close range try from the Hooker. The score ended up 52-6 to Clock Face with the Mets a little disappointed in our own performance.
For the second consecutive game, Ryan Terry was picked out by the opposition as Man of the Match, whilst Centre Danny McNamara and Full Back Brad Maclure were runners up. It must be said that Brad had a storming game and took the ball in on more occasions that would be expected of a Full Back, he never took a backwards step and looks like he’ll be a great asset to the team in the coming months. When it came to the Top Tackler, Mark Dorning always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to put a stop to the next Clock Face attack.
Our season continues Saturday 1st April as we travel to St. Helens to face another well established club in Blackbrook A. The game has a 2.30pm KO.