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Lancaster Rugby

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Bolton vs. Lancaster 8th May 2004

BOLTON LE MOORS 38 LANCASTER 12

RICHARD DE LA RIVIERE


After a promising start to the game Lancaster were eventually worn down by 2003 Rugby League Conference Shield winners Bolton le Moors.

Bolton, who act as a feeder club to National League 2 side Swinton Lions, were always going to be a tougher assignment for Lancaster than Blackpool Sea Eagles and after holding a narrow 12-6 half time lead they were too strong for Lancaster in the second half, winning this period of the game by five tries to one.

Lancaster were without Phil Casson due to a leg injury and replaced him with Paul Roebuck who made his full debut. Liam Hall returned from injury to reclaim his place in the starting line up and Mark Squires replaced the injured Randall Raines at full back. New signings Liam Butterworth and Matthew Preston took their places on the bench.

Once again Lancaster took an early lead. Keith Hartlebury hoisted a high kick which proved too difficult for Bolton full back Ryan Kelly and Rob Shaw was on hand to touch down. Neil Walker was successful with the conversion to establish a 6-0 scoreline in Lancaster's favour. Still full of confidence after their opening day thrashing of Blackpool, Hartlebury and Steve Hartle caused Bolton problems around the ruck, Shaw was strong in defence and Roebuck made at least two threatening breaks.

However the afternoon was soon to turn sour for Walker. In between Bolton tries to centre Dave Hindley and hooker Craig Kay, Walker suffered a badly dislocated shoulder whilst attempting to make a tackle and will be out of action for at least a month. Everyone at the club wishes him well.

Aided by Lancaster mistakes and a lopsided penalty count, Bolton exerted their authority in the second half. Led by Swinton professionals Kay and Nick Cook they opened up the Lancaster defence twice in the first ten minutes of the half for Hindley and Simon Briggs to score. On each occasion Lancaster had been forced into touch early in the tackle count in their own territory and Bolton capitalised on such basic errors to put the game out of Lancaster's reach. Hindley completed his hat trick later in the half and Briggs and David Peel added further tries as several of the Bolton side proved to Swinton coach Paul Kidd that they are worthy of a professional contract.

Lancaster had the last say in the game. Peter Edwards has been an impressive performer for Lancaster so far and he scored the game's final try next to the posts in the last minute of the game. Andy Garnett, who had a strong game with ball in hand and regularly crossed the advantage line, added the extras.

Lancaster's next game is away to Liverpool on May 22nd. They will welcome back the 2003 player of the year Dave McVernon from his honeymoon and Phil Casson will also be fit. Competition for places is already fierce within the club and having beaten Liverpool in their last meeting, Lancaster will be confident of returning with the two points.

LANCASTER: 1. Mark Squires, 2 Andy Garnett, 3 Paul Roebuck, 4 Matt Craven, 5 Gavin Winder, 6 Neil Walker, 7 Steve Hartle, 8 Liam Hall, 9 Keith Hartlebury, 10 Brian Birkett, 11 Peter Edwards, 12 Rob Shaw, 13 Russell Birkett. Subs: Chris Helme, Greg Sykes, Liam Butterworth, Matthew Preston, Martin Pike

WALKABOUT INNS MAN OF THE MATCH: Keith Hartlebury


North West Division Summary

Blackpool Sea Eagles 4 v Liverpool Buccaneers 66
Bolton le Moors 38 v Lancaster 12
North Wales Coasters 22 v Crewe Wolves 32
Chester Wolves 34 v Widnes Saints 10

LIVERPOOL BUCCANEERS ran in twelve tries to overwhelm BLACKPOOL SEA EAGLES with stand off Steve Hunt at the heart of their best work. He claimed a try and nine goals and had a hand in most of the other touchdowns claimed by Webster, Smith, Gibson 2, Dingsdale 2, Webb, Christie, Lacey, Ward and Bailey. Second rower Tom Harrison never stopped working for the visitors for whom Phil Clarke crossed.

Dave Hindley's touchdowns just before and after half time, sandwiching an effort by Craig Kay gave BOLTON LE MOORS the impetus to overcome a spirited LANCASTER. The visitors led through Rob Shaw's early score but the bigger Bolton pack gradually took control. Winger Simon Briggs grabbed a brace and Hindley completed his hat trick, David Peel also crossing for the hosts for whom Patrick O'Grady was a handful throughout. Peter Edwards scored Lancaster's late consolation try.

An excellent first half by CREWE WOLVES which saw them race into a 28-8 lead ensured victory at NORTH WALES COASTERS. Man of the match Dan Hoyland claimed a brace of touchdowns on the wing, John Wilcox with two, Jamie Harris and Steve Caley also crossing. Dave Gray, Mark Price-Jones and the highly impressive Craig Hammons hit back after the break for the Welshmen before Wolves hooker Tim Stewart sealed victory.

CHESTER WOLVES produced a magnificent performance to down WIDNES SAINTS. Second rower John Williams was in superb form but there was little between the sides until Peter Bowden's 54th minute try which opened the home floodgates. Centre Drew Povey snared a hat trick and Peter Smith a brace for the Wolves for whom John Welch had opened the scoring, Waiangi Halatanu and Seam McWhirter replying.


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