For the first time in well over a decade we hosted a mid-week fixture on Wednesday night as we welcomed Wigan Spring View to Greenhalgh’s Pavilion.
The Away side recently put us to the sword with a 100-6 defeat so we were keen to right a few wrongs from that game and build on the improvements from Saturdays game vs Garswood Stags.
The opening 15 minutes remained scoreless, mainly due to some physical Mets defence led by forwards Tom Crook and Andy Platt. The Wigan side felt aggrieved to be on the wrong end of several penalty calls but we were more than happy to have the ball in our possession. Some strong carries by Ken Sackfield and Ryan Terry certainly shook up the visitors and we were making good inroads into their half. The half back pairing of Ste Hickey and Sam Abbott organised their players well to create several close chances but we couldn’t cross the line.
The referee wasn’t standing for any nonsense from the players, which resulted in 2 Spring View players being sin binned within 5 minutes of each other. Once they were back up to their full complement they managed to break the deadline as the quick thinking Hooker dived over from close range.
They were in again moments later, a break down the left touchline saw the Centre tackled inches from the line before the Winger jumped out from dummy half to squeeze in at the corner. Another try right before half time extended the lead to 14-0, however, the Mets certainly dug deep and did well to keep the league leaders to just three tries.
Several changes at half time saw Rob Tuppen, Harry Dawber & Matt Rigby introduced to the game, Matt being the referee from our recent game vs Rotterdam Pitbulls who had travelled over from Rochdale to make his Mets debut.
We have only been kept scoreless once this season so it was only a matter of time before we crossed the whitewash. A charging run by Sackfield scattered a couple of would be defenders before he attempted to take on the Full Back, the support from Captain Hickey meant a draw and pass on the Full Back released him to sprint to the line and score. The try was neatly converted by the recently returning Sackfield to narrow the gap to just 8 points.
It was now our turn to receive a yellow card, Joseph Burns getting 10 minutes in the sin bin for back chat. With Wigan now having the extra man it gave them a chance to regain control, and they did so with a couple of back to back tries making the score 26-6.
Rob Tuppen was putting himself about in both attack, taking the ball to the line strongly and making those extra yards after contact. Full Back Joe Harte also caused the opposition problems with his angled running and hand offs.
Two further tries were scored for the Spring View in the last 10 minutes, which by no means flattered them but took away the shine from what had previously been a very encouraging performance from Bolton. The final score finished 38-6 to the table toppers, but it was a vast improvement from the previous score between the two teams.
Earning his second MOM in the space of week was Ken Sackfield, his hard running standing out for the Wigan coaching staff, whilst the runners up where Ryan Terry and Sam Abbott. Having lead the line in defence for most of the game, Tom Crook was awarded Top Tackler.
Our next game is on Saturday 2nd September as we take on Blackbrook A.
Credit: John McGibbon Photography