Lytham 14, Bolton RUFC 17

AFTER last week's poor showing against Didsbury, Bolton were determined to put together a strong team performance against a dangerous Lytham side.

The mood before the match was calm and constructive and, for 70 mins, this is exactly what Bolton demonstrated.

Bolton set the tone of the match on the wide expanses of the pitch with some quality play both in the backs and forwards. Captain Nick Milnes set out the forwards stall in the line out, taking some fine ball.

One such instance saw the backs flow into action and full back Dave Hulme put a raking kick into Lytham's 22 to put the scrum half under pressure.

His poor clearance kick put Bolton in excellent field position 25 yards out. Bolton's forwrds won the line out and rumbled towards the line only for a silly penalty to deny Bolton an excellent chance of scoring.

The cohesion between the players was beginning to show as Bolton's confidence began to increase. There was some superb inter-passing between the backs, with stand-off Guy Lovgreen and Pete Marriott often creating space for others.

But it was the forwards who put the points on the board. Rob Killner finished off some great support play by Mark Turner, Alex Davies and Sam Hilton to give Bolton the lead.

More points were needed before half-time and Bolton did not fail to deliver. A scrum 20 yards from Lytham's line was taken blind by quick thinking centre Marriott, who fed young winger John Keech who was stopped short of the line.

Great recycling of the ball saw Scrum Half Andy Leigh feed Steve Knibb whose deft side-step ensured he scored the try.

With the wind against them, Bolton defended stoutly but Lytham punched through the line under dubious circumstances. Indiscipline by Bolton conceded a quick tap penalty for Lytham, who flung two long passes to set up a try.

But Bolton replied straight away with a penalty in front of the post, which Lovgreen stroked over.

With the final whistle moments away the Lytham forwards took good line out ball 20 yards from Bolton's line and powered over but it was too little too late as Bolton took two home points.

BOLTON'S Seconds failed to arrive at Marple after a pile up of cars involving some of the players - thankfully, no-one was hurt.

THE third XV continued their good form with a win against Rossendale and the vets returned to winning ways with a fine win against Wilmslow.