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Wigan edge out Bolton in NWML

Bolton Mets 24-32 Wigan Spring View

In stark contrast to usual, Bolton Mets set off like a house on fire and quickly opened the scoring through Full Back Patrick OBrien. With Centre Mark Dorning running a wide line around the back, he played in Patrick who then touched down for a 4 pointer. A successful conversion from the boot of Daryl Devlin gave us a 6-0 lead within 2 minutes of play.

Making a break of his own, this time Patrick offloaded to the supporting Tom Bradley who outpaced the defence to open his try scoring account for Bolton Mets. With the kick going wide, we now led 10-0 with only 10 minutes on the clock.

Our opposition, Wigan Spring View A, came back in to the game mid way through the half with a try from a spread play. The speed of their attack caught out the Mets defence and the Centre was able to cross the line in the right corner.

Despite conceding a try we quickly bounced back, with View attacking the Bolton line an interception by Tom Bradley saw him sprint away from deep inside his own half. As he was racing towards the line a defender managed to chase him down and stop him from scoring again, however, from the resulting play the ball Daryl Devlin executed a perfectly placed kick to find Winger Craig Millington. This was only the second outing for Craig, having made his debut in last week’s friendly, so it was pleasing to see him start his tally with this effort.

The Away side were finishing the half strongly, a couple of penalties gifted them possession and field position, this in turn led to their second try from close range as the Hooker waltzed through a gap around the ruck. As the kick flew between the uprights, the half time whistle blew and the score stood at 14-10 in Bolton’s favour.

Wigan Spring View started the second half full off confidence, so much so they hit back with a barge over try to tie the scores, the kick put them 2 in front for the first time in the game.

Prop Forwards Gavin Corfield and Anthony Knight, with support from Tom Banks and Rob Tuppen in the Second Row, really helped set a platform for the Backs to work from after going behind, this enabled Devlin the opportunity to put in another neat kick and force a drop out. The kick was collected by Tom Bradley on the left touchline, as he ran the ball back the call from the sideline was for him to come inside, however, he could quite clearly see he had space to run in to down the wing. Beating the covering Full Back to the corner, Tom doubled his tally for the afternoon and put the Mets in front by 2 points with 25 minutes to go.

On the hour mark, a bit of a coming together led to a 10 minute spell in the sin bin for Kieran Lockett and the opposition Half Back. This was one of a number of sparks throughout the game but just confirmed the passion, and frustration, on show. Soon after the cards were dished out, View regained the lead with a try in the corner, the final pass looked to have gone forward but the referee disagreed.

For the next 10 minutes, Bolton lost control and allowed the opposition to open up a gap in the scores. A try down the middle from a big Forward was quickly followed by another score moments later, these coming from defensive errors and lack of desire from a Mets point of view. Two conversions made it 32-18 with only 5 minutes to go, another game slipping through our fingers right at the death.

Despite being behind, one last foray in attack led to the final try of the game, a loose ball was hacked forward by Patrick OBrienwho then touched down close to the posts, this allowing Devlin to kick the goal and bring the game to a close.

Spring View winning the game 32-24 was frustrating, however, there are a lot of positives we can take from it. Some quality performances across the field gave us hope for the future, with particular mentions for Anthony Knight and Steven Harrisonfrom Head Coach Al Scarbrough.

The Opposition Man of the Match went to Patrick OBrien, whilst Tom Bradley and Jonathan McMillan were runners up. These three players have certainly made their mark this season and were throughly deserving of the praise. Chalking up his third Top Tackler award in the league this season was Jonathan McMillan, a great achievement for a player in there Halves.

We will be back at Greenhalgh’s Pavilion next Saturday as we host Clock Face Miners A of St.Helens, the game has a 2.30pm KO.

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