Bolton Rugby Club’s Amazons girls team hosted two combined Cheshire clubs on Sunday for a rare home fixture.

Both Chester and Winnington Park are two well-established Cheshire clubs with a long history and they combined to play Bolton.

The overnight rain had led to a greasy surface but the pitch had held up extremely well due to the good work by the volunteer groundstaff at the Avenue Street club.

Bolton had played these two teams previously in the Northern Girls Network and knew they were a tough team to beat.

The hosts started well and kept the away team’s strong runners at bay with some excellent defensive work.

Bolton were first to have an opportunity to score after they had applied pressure from a lineout in the opposition’s ‘22’.

With some excellent forward drives linking with the backs, Betty Weall took the ball into contact and the recycled ball found Sammie Makin on the right wing a couple of metres out, but she was just held up in the contact and the away team managed to turnover the ball and kick ahead to clear their lines.

That could have made a big difference to the game.

Other than that, in the first 15 minutes neither team were able breach their opponents’ defence.

Lizzie Barrow, playing only her second game at scrum-half, was excellent for Amazons, while captain Iona Barnes, playing at 10, tried to weave her way through the Chester defence but was halted by their strong tackling.

Sofia Reis-Coop in the centre partnership with Jasmine Cox piled on the pressure but they just could not find that gap.

With the first quarter coming to an end, Bolton managed to keep the away team at bay after strong pressure from Chester five metres from the Bolton line - Raid Hodgkinson-Bostock, Sophie Rose, Amelia Crook and Holly Turner putting their bodies on the line.

In the next quarter, the stalemate was broken after Chester found themselves with an overlap on their right wing and even after a try-saving tackle by Iona Barnes stopped the pacy player from scoring, she had the necessary support to offload and Chester scored with the try unconverted.

Chester then scored a similar try, finding themselves with another overlap on the right wing to make it 10-0.

Bolton were now making errors, gifting the ball back to Chester with the odd knock-on. Their set-pieces were letting them down, both in the scrum and lineout where they were losing their own ball.

In addition, the referee was strict with the high-tackle law, giving numerous penalties for any tackle slightly above the waist.

Chester managed to get themselves in the Bolton 22 and from the back of a ruck, a player picked up the ball. Inexplicably, the referee blew his whistle, possibly accidentally, and the Bolton players stopped. However the Chester girl continued and scored unchallenged to make it 15-0.

In the second half, Bolton just could not get a foothold in the game and after conceding yet another penalty, the Chester 10 kicked for touch and the resulting lineout led to their next score. A front ball went to one of their biggest players and she was never going to be stopped from that distance.

Bolton never gave up with the scoreline beginning to flatter the away team as both were equally matched - the hosts just never seemed to get the breaks.

Tope Oyeside broke through the Chester defence but was halted by foul play and was sure a penalty was coming so held onto the ball but the referee gave a penalty against her for holding on and stated he never saw any foul play.

In fact, he marched the Bolton girls back 10 metres for remonstrating with the referee.

It was not Bolton’s day as a late converted try by the away team sealed a 27-0 win for he visitors.

The home side never gave up, however, and will learn from their mistakes and come back stronger.

Lizzie Barrow picked up two awards - the captain’s award and opposition’s player of the match, while Jasmine Cox was awarded the coaches’ player of the match after never missing a tackle all day.

Sofia Reis-Coop was voted player of the match by the players.

This week the Amazons are at Eccles in the next round of cup games.