IT seems retirement is not entirely permanent at Bolton Mets rugby league club.

For when you've finished playing for the team you can start playing against it, for the Old Boys.

It's only once a year mind, but the old competitive juices certainly start flowing when the past players take on the current team in the annual season curtain-raiser.

The Old Boys have proved over the last few years they are anything but past it as they took a 3-1 overall lead in the series.

But it wasn't to be for them this year as the present-day squad comprehensively beat their predecessors 28-0.

In rain and slippery conditions which made handling the ball difficult, today's Mets flew out of the blocks with two tries to give them an 8-0 lead before the Old Boys had time to shake off the rust.

Scrum-half Mark Dorning took the ball to the line before committing two defenders and releasing centre Joseph Burns who dived over the line to score after just five minutes.

Evergreen Dorning then set up the opposite centre Ste Hickey with a delightful angled kick which saw the ball slide through into the in-goal area as Hickey outpaced the defence and dived on the loose ball. Both conversions were missed.

The Old Boys tried to gain a foothold in the game, but the ferocity of the Mets defence kept them camped in their own half.

They had one sniff of a try, however, when a neat interception from Aaron Smith saw him sprint upfield with no one in front of him.

Despite being one of the speedier players on the Old Boys side, he was brought down before the line by captain Josh Bourne and debutant winger Jonathan McMillan.

Solid drives by Old Boys forwards Neil Hart, Colin Crompton, and Dave Cain started to make inroads as the half progressed, but the defending of forwards Ryan Terry, Jason Nuttall and Andy Platt kept the yards down to a minimum.

Bourne, who was facing the Old Boys for the first time, had the bit between his teeth as he carried the ball forward. Several defenders tried to push him back, but pure strength forced him towards the line.

As the would-be tacklers fell off him, and with very little space remaining on the field, the big loose forward dived for the corner to expertly touch down.

Yet another missed conversion left coach Al Scarbrough wondering whether this could cost his side later in the game.

He need not have worried as the try of the half took the game further away from the Old Boys.

Prop forward Rick Ackers, who had come off the bench midway through the first half, sprinted upfield after a one-on-one ball steal close to his own line.

With the full length of the field in front of him nobody expected him to outpace the chasers to score a try, but he did.

And stand-off Daryl Devlin extended the Mets lead to 18-0 with the first successful conversion of the game.

As the second half got underway it was time for the Old Boys to ring the changes.

Mark Green and Lee Williams paired up in the halves, while Gary Hill and Chris Lane were drafted in to shore up the middle.

This helped them subdue some Mets attacks, but the pressure soon took its toll.

After Hickey had made a break upfield only to be brought down close to the line, prop forward Neil Kelly, somehow finding himself in the dummy half position, chose to barge over from close range to score his first try for the club.

Another kick between the posts from Devlin made it 24-0 with nearly an hour played.

In the first half, debutant Andy Crompton had started well in the hooker position before he was sidelined with a chest injury, Sam Abbott replacing him.

The third debutant for Mets was loose forward Lee Massey, whose performance suggested he could slot nicely into the pack and challenge several players for their shirts in the coming weeks.

Dorning was again the provider for Mets' next try with an angled grubber kick from left to right which enticed winger Jonathan McMillan to use his pace and beat the opposing full back to the ball.

He pounced on the opportunity to open his account for the club on his debut as he calmly touched the ball down before Chris Piercy could get there.

Another missed conversion left the score 28-0.

Former Mets coach Rick Brooks picked Sam Heyes as man of the match for the Old Boys, while Scarbrough selected Dorning from the current side.

Terry earned the top tackler award for some bone-rattling hits that will certainly give the Old Boys something to remember over the next 12 months.

Although the rain understandably scared off a few supporters, the players all turned out in good numbers to make sure the game was as tense and competitive for the current side as possible ahead of the new season.

A good spirit shone through during the game as the players past and present did battle with the sole purpose of showing their love and support for their club.

Mets are always looking to recruit players and volunteers and anyone who would like to contact them for more information can get in touch on Twitter at @BoltonMetsRLFC.