Saints overwhelm brave Bolton


This game was under threat because of heavy rain overnight. It was only due to the early morning attentions of Head Groundsman, Taffy Jones, that the pitch was made playable. So, the 250 spectators who braved the bitter weather to watch an exciting game have him to thank.

Bolton made life difficult for Anselmians on their home turf at the start of the season and stern resistance was expected for the home return. Bolton got off to a strong start putting pressure on the Saints’ defence and striking first with a penalty goal in front of the home posts after 5 minutes during which the play was all theirs. But Saints weathered this early pressure and started to demonstrate the difference in league status between the two teams. 

After just nine minutes, Ewan Nolan (this week the versatile youngster was playing on the wing) broke free to gallop 40 yards to score his first of two magnificent tries of the afternoon. Dai Morley converted. Five minutes later, right-winger, James Whitehouse outstripped the Bolton defence with pure pace, rounding under the posts for Morley to add two more easy points. 

In the physio room before the game, Nolan and Whitehouse had been advised that they shared the top of the try-scoring table with 15 each. It now seemed that they were vying to outdo each other. Now balanced at 16 each, Nolan scored another long-range try breaking tackles on the half-way line and tiptoeing just inside the touchline to cross for his second. The extras were added by Dai Morley.
The score was now 21-3 after just 17 minutes.

Bolton were not for giving up and kept challenging forcefully even though they were rather overwhelmed by Saints’ pace and power.

Saints kept up this early pressure and, coming into the line in broken play, classy full-back, Andy Cummings jinked and dummied his way over the line for his first of a brace of tries, one in each half. Again, Dai Morley converted, this time from long range.

If Ewan Nolan had staked his claim to the top of the try-scoring list earlier, Jimmy Whitehouse had other ideas, and streaked through, and in and out of, half a dozen despairing tackles to score the pick of the day’s tries and balance the contest at 17 tries each for the season so far. This situation will be interesting to observe at it develops over the remaining games this season.

Half Time: 35 – 3

The second period started much as the first with Bolton bravely carrying the game to their hosts. But they were soon overwhelmed with Cummings trying after 5 minutes followed in quick succession by exciting crossings for Tommy Banks and Fred Clark. Only one of these was converted against a high wind.

Further tries came from lock, Niall Cavanagh, emerging from a powerful maul over the line, and then, after 70 minutes, Adam Bramhall who finished off a skilful backs attack, with the conversion added by Cummings.

Full Time: 64 – 3

Next week, Anselmians travel to Rochdale, whose game against Winnington Park yesterday was postponed, and who now have 3 games in hand. Other than their reverse at Eastham, 43-21, in October, Rochdale have won every game and will be a real test for the exciting Saints squad. This will be the best contest of the North Two West league season.

North Two West

3Winnington Park149144213211008147
10St Benedicts165110244454-2103328
13De La Salle (Salford)142210135269-1340411-5

15 Andrew Cummings
14 James Whitehouse
13 Thomas Banks
12 Ransford Otutaha
11 Ewan Nolan
10 David Morley
9 George Manger
1 Stephen Brooks
2 Daniel Salisbury
3 Jonathan Bonner
4 Jack Richards
5 Niall Cavanagh
6 William Grabe
7 Thomas Gilbert
8 Paul Sherlock
Anselmians Subs
S1 Derek Salisbury
S2 Fred Clark
S3 Adam Bramhall

15 Alexander Waddicar
14 Jon-Paul Hardman
13 William Bate
12 Thomas Evans
11 Josh Lincoln
10 Gareth Hession
9 Jack Robinson
1 Rory Biggins
2 Name withheld
3 Samuel Hilton
4 Paul Leigh
5 David Ogilvie
6 Name withheld
7 Connor Orrell
8 Matthew Parrish
Bolton Subs
S1 Daniel Taylor
S2 Richard Rawlinson

Anselmians 1st XV’s next game is away to Rochdale on Saturday 12 February for a 2.15pm kick-off.

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

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