Bolton Amazons’ Under-14s girls rugby team hosted Crewe and Nantwich on Sunday and battled hard despite defeat.

Crewe and Nantwich were made up of players from Winnington Park and Crewe and Nantwich rugby clubs, and they proved to be a strong outfit with some powerful runners.

And it was not long before they had run in three tries in quick succession before the home team finally settled down.

As the game went on, the Bolton girls grew into the game with some excellent tackling.

And things started to turn when Jasmine Cox collected the ball on the right wing and ran the full length of the pitch, avoiding numerous tacklers, to dot the ball down under the posts for Bolton’s first try. The conversion was completed by captain Iona Barnes.

This try, and excellent tackling, earned Jasmine the captain’s award after the match.

The girls were feeling the heat in the unusually warm weather and Betty Weall came on to the pitch after feeling unwell to keep the opposition at bay with her try-saving tackles.

Holly Turner and Amelia Crook made themselves a nuisance at the rucks and mauls so much, that Holly was awarded the opposition’s choice as the best Bolton player.

The girls continued to improve as the game went on but the visitors got a couple more breakaway tries before scrum-half Eilidh Burns went over the whitewash after some fine Bolton build-up play as it ended 34-12 to the opposition.

It was only the girls’ second full game at U14s and they are a mixed-ability team with new players, some experienced and some still learning, so overall it was a great performance for a new team.

Sophie Rose, Lizzie Barrow and Tope Oyeside tackled well, while Erin Shaw, Charlotte Stone and Felicity Redford had some excellent runs at the opposition.

Amber Pettitt and Millie-Jo Anderson settled in well for their first ever game and Phillipa Irving is growing in strength week by week. Meanwhile, Bridget Stone and Sammie Makin came off the bench and did not let the side down.

Captain Barnes picked up the coaches’ award for her probing runs and controlling the game.

Next up for the team is a home game against Littleborough on Sunday (1pm).

The U12s Amazon girls travelled to Broughton Park for a development day where they joined other U12s teams for coaching and matches.

They joined with Old Aldwinians to play a team from Manchester and Stockport - and Maddie Iredale, Aisha Abdi, Phoebe Melon and Eve Barrow all played magnificently.

The Bolton club are always on the lookout for new players and any girls in Years 6/7/8/9 who want to try out rugby would be made welcome at Bolton Rugby Club. For more details, email