THINGS could hardly have gone better for Bolton in their first North Lancs/Cumbria League game of the new season, as they put 10 tries past Trafford Metrovicks in a stunning performance, led by Gaz Pritchard.

But although they are sitting pretty at the top of the table, head coach Dave Crouch will not be laying any outlandish early claim to the title, certainly not with 25 rounds of the league season to go.

Instead, Crouch has set his players an objective that, after their 70-19 win, will definitely challenge them this weekend – to improve with each passing game.

Pritchard inspired the Cherry and Whites’ landslide victory, touching down twice himself and being at the heart of their impressive opener.

“It all came together on Saturday, we played some really good stuff,” Crouch told The Bolton News. “Our offloading and support play was amazing, and Gaz was the instigator, he played brilliantly and continued to drive the other players and got them pressing throughout the game.

“Trafford were not that bad but I think they suffered a few key injuries and it was a day when it all just clicked for us.”

In addition to Pritchard’s two tries, Bolton ran away with Saturday’s game with half-back James Singleton and centre Andrew Wood each scoring twice and other tries coming from Jonny Stanfield, Marcus O’Donohoe, Louis Critchlow and captain Rhys Pritchard.

Taking over kicking duties for the first time in the absence of regular kicker Mike Mills, centre Alex Waddicor made seven of his 10 conversion attempts, and slotted over two penalties.

Crouch has more or less the same pool of players to call upon this term, with Wood already off the mark, having joined following his Edinburgh University stint, and former Preston Grasshoppers back Owen McKenna impressing in the early stages.

Yet to make his debut, but with much expected of him, is second-row forward Owen Williams, who has played a high standard of rugby in north Wales.

The new trio adds to a squad that has been told to enjoy their rugby and ensure each match they play is better than the last, which will be no mean feat if they can achieve that when they go to Aspatria this Saturday.

“I’m really pleased with last Saturday’s performance,” added Crouch. “But this week is a different proposition altogether. Aspatria lost their first game against Wigton by one point, with the last kick of the game, so we could get the rebound from that, we’ll hopefully be ready and play some good stuff.

“We’re not setting out saying ‘right, we’re going to win the league, we’ll target wins in this game or that game’. We just want the players to enjoy what they’re doing, and we aim to improve with each game, if we can do that we’ll be doing okay.”

After beating Tyldesley 15-10 in the cup the previous weekend, Bolton have been drawn against Didsbury Toc H in the second round. The tie is to be played on October 14.