BOLTON RUFC’s first team travelled to their nearest league rivals Aspull on a beautiful winter’s afternoon along with many supporters.

But they paid the price for some below-par tackling late in the first half as they fell to a 29-12 defeat.

Bolton started the match very well and dominated the first 10 minutes with great pressure on the Aspull defence.

In the ninth minute, Bolton thought they had scored the opening try, only to be brought back to a lineout as Pat O’Brien was deemed to have had his foot in touch.

Almost straight away Bolton had another chance as the ball was stolen from an Aspull forward.

Jack Robinson drew the defender and put Matt Stevens over for a try in the corner. Rhys Pritchard added the conversion.

Aspull began to wake up a bit after this try, scoring their opening try, which was converted, on 19 minutes.

The game was a stalemate at this stage, with neither side able to get on top.

However, Aspull scored two tries inside three minutes late in the half through some good running from their backs and a display of poor tackling from Bolton.

In the 38th minute things got worse for the Cherry and Whites, as Aspull added a penalty to their tally to go into the break 24-7 ahead.

The second half was all about the defences on both sides.

Bolton had many minutes of possession and went through the phases really well, but Aspull’s defence proved to be very solid.

Aspull moved the ball quickly from a kick ahead and scored a try shortly after the hour mark.

Bolton were still putting some good phases together both in the forwards and backs.

They were rewarded for their endeavours four minutes from time.

The visitors had a lineout on the Aspull five-metre line, from where the forwards caught the ball and drove over for a try, James Higgins touching down.

Although they lost, they should be proud of their performance. They stuck at the task very well and there were good individual performances.

Aspull’s players were strong in defence and moved the ball well. The man of the match was Niall Murphy, who captained the side encouragingly and was well supported by his team.