THEY blew hot and cold as they beat Littleborough a week earlier, but Bolton completed a perfect January in fine style, notching a half-century as they romped to victory over Hawcoat Park.

The Cherry and Whites ran in eight tries in their 50-20 win and, although head coach Dave Crouch says there are still improvements to be made, it was a convincing outing that took them to four wins from four this year.

“We played some really good rugby, our offloading was fantastic and we got some very good tries,” he said.

“We felt we should have scored three or four more but it was really pleasing, we were all delighted.

“The forwards won their battle and allowed the backs to have quick ball to use.

“When we kicked, we chased hard and tackled well. Our attacking play is getting there and our defending has improved after a lot of hard work, so it’s good to see that coming to fruition.”

After falling behind to an early penalty, Bolton hit back at Hawcoat with prop Manny Tailor crossing for the first try, converted by Louis Lockett.

Following the visitors’ second three-pointer, Bolton’s pack began to get on top of the power struggle and Gaz Pritchard scored a pushover try. Just before the break, Lockett sold a brilliant dummy to stroll in for a try that he converted, making the half-time score 19-6.

Although Hawcoat touched down two minutes after the restart Chris Brownlow went over for Bolton’s fourth try.

And, midway through the second period, Brownlow and Tailor each scored their second tries to send their team into an unassailable lead. Alex Waddicar and Chris Cockton both touched down for late scores that put extra gloss on their emphatic win.

“It was a difficult decision for man-of-the-match,” admitted Crouch. “The back row – Ryan McClusky, Gaz Pritchard and Ben Cottam – were exceptional.

“There were a few contenders but it went to Josh Holmes, he was tremendous. He made some really good runs, and tackled and chased well, he had a great game.”

Although still eighth, Bolton are now 12 points from leaders Aspatria and still have the Cumbrians to play, as well as two games against second-placed Keswick.

And, ahead of going to Aldwinians this Saturday, Crouch says there are good times right across Avenue Street.

“We’re not that far off the top now,” he added. “The thirds are top of their table and although the seconds have had a bit of a wobble they’re still doing very well too, [captain] Rory Biggins is doing a tremendous job.

“As far as our play goes, the lads are getting very good at turning defence into attack, we play a very quick game which suits us because we feel we’re fitter than our opponents.

“We’re getting up in teams’ faces and tackling them behind the gain line.

“They don’t know how to handle it and it leads to us turning a lot of balls over.

“We’re improving, we’re not the finished product but we’re setting high standards and it’s up to us to live up to them.”