Critchlow hits high as winning run goes on
9:04am Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Sport
LOUIS Critchlow produced a three-try, man-of-the-match performance as Bolton continued their incredible run to go second in North Lancs League One.
The in-form Avenue Street men racked up their 14th win in 15 games with a second successive clean sheet and a four-try bonus point as then romped to a 32-0 win at North Manchester.
With St Edwards Old Boys, who went into the weekend in runners-up spot, losing at Hutton, the pendulum has now swung significantly in the battle for a promotion play-off place.
Bolton – a point ahead of the Old Boys but having played one more game – have no fixture this weekend, but with Burnley at home and away games at Mosley Hill and Trafford MV to come, they are now serious contenders to finish second behind runaway leaders Tarleton.
Saturday’s game at North Manchester was no walkover as the home side’s physical approach made for a bruising encounter. But the Cherry and Whites rode the blows, and in the end ran out comfortable and worthy winners with second-row man Critchlow stealing the show.
His two first-half tries after Mark Doherty had kicked Bolton in front with a penalty owed much to the platform laid by his hard-working team-mates – the first coming from a rolling maul after Tony McClaughlin and Gareth Evans had made good yardage, the second – again from short range – courtesy of good work by Evans and Dave Ormes.
Bolton picked up the pace in the second half and their class began to tell. A typical scurrying break from Rhys Pritchard down the left wing was halted by the North Manchester players, but when an overlap developed on the right Will Bate broke through two attempted tackles before crossing under the posts for Doherty to convert.
North Manchester continued to test the visitors’ mettle, but after some good defensive work, number eight Matthew Parrish made his presence felt in helping Bolton back on to the front foot – a situation that resulted in vice-captain Dave Bruen sending Alex Waddicar over for a try which Doherty converted.
With time running out Bolton had secured an invaluable bonus point in their chase for second place, and, at the death, skiper Chris Cockton, appearing at the side of a ruck, produced a sensational offload for Critchlow to cross for his third try of the day.
Pete Brogan ran in a hat-trick of tries, Dave Meir scored two and Mike Singleton, Tom Relph and John Stryker one each as Bolton 2nd XV beat Ashton-on-Mersey 80-3.
The third team won 31-0 at home to Aspull ahead of their Raging Bull Shield semi-final at home to St Edwards Old Boys on Saturday. The fourth team, who also have home advantage this weekend when they meet Didsbury Toc-H in the Raging Bull Plate semi-final, won 50-7 at Colne and Nelson.