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Wednesday, 06 May 2015
The Old Boltonians’ AFC has won the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division title for the first time in twenty-nine years! The 2-1 victory over the Old Blackburnians was a real triumph for the team after an excellent season.
The game was particularly tight as not only were the Old Bolts playing for the title, the Old Blackburnians were fighting to avoid relegation, making it a tense encounter on both sides.
Old Boltonians’ manager Steve Eccleshare said, “Both teams were nervous and it showed on the pitch, but we knew it would be close because they are scrapping like mad for points. Once we were ahead towards the end, though, we were much better, and played with the confidence of champions. The players who last won the title came down to watch, which made the occasion even better. It was just amazing.”
The Boys’ Division alumni team took the lead after just eight minutes with a penalty shot, taken by Lee Worswick, and maintained the upper hand for the remainder of the first half. However, in spite of the good start, the Old Bolts struggled to keep control of the game as the nerves set in. In the second half, a cross from the right eluded the Old Boys’ defence and allowed the Old Blackburnians to score thanks to an uncharacteristic mistake from keeper Cory James. As the clock hit seventy minutes, a downward header from Worswick sneaked their second goal, returning the advantage to the Old Boltonians and winning them the match, and with it the title.
The Old Bolts have two remaining league games in the season. Just one more win will also see them break the record for the number of points in a season, and the Old Boys are aiming to do just that.
“The lads want to go and break the record, so they won’t be resting yet,” said Eccleshare. “They have been absolutely brilliant all season, and it will be nothing less than they deserve.”
On Saturday, the First XI Old Bolts will be fighting to complete the double as they play in the Lancashire Amateur League First XI’s Cup Final. If they are victorious in this match, it will mark the first time they have achieved this particular double.
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