LANCASHIRE Amateur League Premier Division newcomers Old Boltonians put together two excellent results to get their season properly launched, holding 100 per cent leaders Leigh Athletic to a 2-2 draw and then defeating reigning champions Royton Town 5-1.

Last season's chief marksman Stuart Williams, showed that he can score at a higher level too, by snatching both goals against a previously rampant Leigh side, then celebrated with a hat-trick against a poor Royton outfit who have failed so far to capitalise on last season's triumph.

John Fairhurst and fullback Ken Young, with a thrilling run and finish, scored the other goals.

Bolts share a 2-2-2 start with Thornleigh who thrashed them last week. The latter continued to improve with a narrow victory at Accrington Amateurs, knocking them off their early-season stride with a late Vinny Merritt goal from a Phil Maher cross.

But it was a gritty rather than fluent performance from a side lacking several first teamers. Chris Gorman, Mick Roberts and Matt Brown all performed heroically in defence, and to snatch victory after being reduced by a sending off to 10 men was a great achievement.

Rivington grabbed their first point from an unlikely quarter, a goalless draw at high-flying Burnley Belvedere, but Bolton Wyresdale after nailing Rivington 4-0 in midweek, lost by the same margin to Rochdale St Clements.

In the First Division, Old Smithillians got going at last with a 3-0 win over Preston GSA, their first of the season. Jason Clark scored two goals here and Andrew Taylor the other. Above them, Old Sladians and Bolton County have each registered two wins, but there is no early evidence of a Bolton presence in the promotion race this time around.

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