Bolton Amazons girls under-14s’ rugby union team were overcome by a strong Littleborough team on Sunday on home soil - but showed their spirit despite defeat.

It was only the third full match for the Bolton side since coming together and their visitors included half a dozen rugby league players who had been playing throughout the summer.

And they proved to be the away team’s secret weapon.

Bolton found themselves three tries down in the first 10 minutes of the game, with the Warriors feeding their strong powerful runners who broke through the poor defence left by Bolton.

Both teams were rucking very well and securing their own ball at times, but silly errors and poor defence let Littleborough in for a fourth try with just 15 minutes on the clock.

Bolton then rallied round with Jasmine Cox and Sammie Makin finally getting the ball, and both had good runs towards the Littleborough try line before being halted just short by the strong defence.

The girls chose the wrong options on occasion and the Bolton back line saw very little ball during the match.

Holly Turner, Amelia Crook and Sophie Rose worked hard in the rucks and mauls, with Holly turning over possession on several occasions.

Amelia never stopped working which earned her the coaches’ player-of-the-match award.

Bolton grew stronger as the game progressed and this paid off after five minutes of pressure on the Littleborough try line when Eilidh Burns went over to score Bolton’s first and only try. The try was unconverted.

The home side started to believe in themselves and their tackling improved as the game went on.

Had this happened earlier in the match, they could have stemmed the tries in the first quarter of the game.

The girls put their bodies on the line and the second half saw a much-improved performance.

But Littleborough were able to run in several more tries making the final score 50-5 as they managed to convert five of their tries also.

Raid Hodgkinson put in a good performance coming back from injury which earned her the captain’s players choice, Betty Weall was her usual fearless self in defence and Iona Barnes put in a good shift with several good runs.

Holly Turner was selected by the opposition as their player of the match and the referee noted good performances from Eilidh Burns and Erin Shaw.

The scoreline did not reflect the game or the effort, especially after the first quarter.- The team has a lot to work on defensively and options and decisions to make on the field. The match has proved that they need to be more adaptable in future and work on our defence but the team is still in its infancy and developing very well.

This Sunday the U12s and U14s travel to Winnington Park, in Northwich, for a cluster event.