BOLTON Mets battled bravely against the odds at home to favourites Blackpool Scorpions in the North West Men’s League Shield before going down 48-20.

Scorpions are riding high in North West Men’s League Division Four – a division above Mets – and they took an early lead with a move from the base of the scrum.

They doubled their lead moments later with a try out of nothing, and with one kick out of two successful it made the score 10-0 to the visitors.

With the Scorpions on the attack again, a loose pass was picked off by Mets scrum-half Daryl Devlin who sprinted 80 metres to score under the sticks and then kick the conversion.

A missed tackle was the cause of the next try for the Scorpions, another conversion restoring the 10-point advantage.

After four tries in the opening 20 minutes, a period of tight defence was to follow and the Mets defence held firm before working their way downfield with strong ball carries by Niall Murphy, Gary Hill and Rob Tuppen.

This allowed full-back Patrick O’Brien to find his way to the line.

With minutes to go in the first half, stand-off Jonathan McMillan went for a chip and chase kick option, only to see it brought back with pace by an opposing player.

As the Mets players had moved up in anticipation of a deeper kick there was no one at home to stop the try which was again converted.

An attack down the right flank opened the scoring for Blackpool in the second half to increase the lead, but Bolton stuck at it and got their rewards.

Making only his second appearance for the club, and on his home debut, Ethan Hill got his first Mets try with a dive over from close range on 50 minutes.

Hooker Keiran Lockett had to go off with an ankle injury and Steven Harrison had to switch positions and take control of the forwards.

Even though Mets were holding their own, the experience started to show for Scorpions and some solid angled runs by the two second-rowers resulted in three tries to make it 40-14.

But Mets battled and centre Gavin Hatton crashed over to score his fifth try in seven appearances before Devlin slotted over his second conversion.

Mets tired after their efforts and Scorpions scored two late tries to seal an away victory.

Head coach Al Scarbrough felt the whole squad deserved credit for their performance and hopes it has set the platform for the second half of the league season.

Playing in only his second ever Mets game, his first being back in 2013, Ryan McClusky was awarded the opposition’s man of the match honour, with O’Brien and Tuppen runners-up, while loose forward Steven Harrison was picked out as top tackler.

Mets now turn their attention to a home game against Golborne Parkside on Friday, kick off 7pm.