Having started the season with a comprehensive win last weekend, and with 11 of the starting 13 players available again this Saturday, we were anticipating a tough but competitive game vs Thatto Heath Crusaders B. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and the far more experienced team from St Helens showed us why they’ll be contenders for the title come September.
A good start by Bolton gave Head Coach Al Scarbrough some early encouragement, but it wasn’t long before the Home side opened the scoring with two quick tries. Some strong running from the Thatto forwards broke the Mets defensive line and firmly put their stamp on the game.
Losing the hard-tackling Ryan Terry mid way through the first half was the killer blow and from here on in it was all one-way traffic. Several other knocks and injuries meant reshuffle after reshuffle throughout the Mets ranks and left us without any cohesiveness.
The game was well and truly gone by the hour mark and come full time the Crusaders had racked up 68 unanswered points. For anyone that has followed the results of Bolton Mets over recent years knows, this score line isn’t uncommon and by no means our biggest defeat in the last 12 months. However, with some new recruits and a real desire to see improvements we hope this type of result will be few and far between in 2018.
There are a couple of positives we can take from the game, those being another strong performance by Second Row Forward Rob Tuppen and a return to the squad of Hooker Adam Ryan. We’re hoping that both Rob and Adam are going to be regular players throughout the season as consistency is a huge part of developing a strong competitive team. An encouraging performance by Prop Rick Ackers earnt him the Man of the Match award, whilst Captain Josh Bourne and Scrum Half Daryl Devlin were runners up. Despite picking up an early knock, Centre Ben Latham was picked out as Top Tackler.