BOLTON’S men’s first team top the early North West Hockey League Division One North table after making it three wins out of three at Kendal.

With their eyes on promotion, Bolton have made a perfect start following the 2-1 victory in Cumbria at the weekend.

Despite having just 12 players on the day to the home side’s full compliment of 16, it was the visitors who went ahead from their first short corner.

Matt Mair and Rob Lord won it with the attempted drag flick blocked only for the ball to break to Carl Philbin who slotted the ball away with a reverse stick strike between the keeper’s legs.

Kendal were level before half-time though, making the most of a four-on-two situation to score the equaliser.

Bolton got their noses in front for a second time after the interval, George Brennan seeing an initial shot saved before scoring at the second attempt from a tight angle.

The visitors then had to dig deep for victory, making it a hat-trick of wins and inflicting a first defeat of the season on Kendal who are second in the standings.

Elsewhere, the men’s second team were 2-0 winners over their Golborne counterparts and the third team were 3-1 winners against Didsbury 7s.

The ladies’ first team went down 3-2 to Bowden 3s with the thirds also losing 7-0 to City of Manchester.

There was victory for the second team however as they got the better of near neighbours Bury 2-0.

The Bolton Beavers junior team also won 1-0 at Bowdon in their second competitive match of the season.

The Bolton youngsters looked the stronger side from the off, peppering the Bowdon goal in the first half but thanks to some great keeping and defending the visitors could not convert their chances.

In the second half the hosts rallied and came close on a couple of occasions but were denied by Nina Jones guarding the Bolton goal with some strong saves. 

Bolton then broke down the right wing and crossed the ball to Angelie Chitrev who broke free of her defender to score with a low, powerful shot from which Bowdon were unable to recover.