BOLTON Mets lost a third successive match in North West Men’s League Division Five but put on a battling display against high-flying Clock Face Miners A at Greenhalgh’s Pavilion.

Mets went down 30-24 to head into a blank weekend just one place off the bottom.

But they can take great credit from their display which at one point saw them claw back an 18-point deficit to level.

The men from St Helens hit the ground running, firstly with a spread play down the left and then with a breakaway try from deep within their own half.

Another try followed after a defender shot out of the line and left a gap, and with all three tries converted it opened up an 18-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Mets showed character and a delightful kick through by stand-off Jonathan McMillan was chased down by loose forward Gavin Hatton, beating the full-back to the ball to score.

Kicking directly from in front of the posts meant Daryl Devlin added the extra two points to make it 18-6 at the interval.

Clock Face were the first to score after the break, however, it was a real bone of contention with the Mets sideline.

As an attack down the left progressed, the pass that put the centre through a gap kooked forward, but the referee allowed play to go on and the ball was touched down. A successful kick gave the Away side a 24-6 lead.

Mets responded and Patrick O’Brien dived over in the corner to score his eighth try in seven league games, Devlin converting from wide.

Making his first appearance of the season, Connor Orrell came in at second row and was soon in on the action.

Bringing the ball out from near Mets’ try line, Devlin’s short pass put Orrell through a gap and he sprinted three quarters of the length of the field to score. Adding to his assist, Devlin converted the try to narrow the gap further.

Winger Craig Millington then intercepted a pass and charged away for another Mets try. Having scored close to the uprights, it meant Devlin’s kick tied the scores at 24-24.

Both teams pushed for the win, Will Bate and Kieran Lockett both going close for Mets.

Soon after, Clock Face worked the ball from right to left in front of the Mets line, only to see their winger bundled into touch, a few blades of grass away from scoring in the corner.

But they did get the crucial score when a high kick was claimed by the onrushing centre, picking the pocket of the Mets defender, and with a clear run to the line he scored.

A 100-per-cent record for both kickers meant the score now stood at 30-24 in the visitors’ favour and while Mets threw everything at them, Clock Face held on to secure the victory.

Bate was named opposition man of the match, with Rob Tuppen a runner-up on the back of some very solid performances this campaign.

Having recently switched from the backs into the forwards, Gavin Hatton took the top tackler honours from the number 13 position.

Mets return to league action on Saturday, June3 1, when they travel to Rylands Sharks.