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Friday, 08 March 2013
In recent weeks Bolton School has entered the world of rugby 7’s.
The first seven continued their good start to the sevens season by winning the bowl at Austin Friars School, Carlisle. After a shaky start possibly due to changes in personnel due to injuries etc, they lost the opening game to Durham school who were more physical and Trinity school who beat Bolton on the counter attack. Bolton finally dropped into their stride and comfortably beat St.Bees Cumbria 42-0, and the final group game saw Bolton beat QEGS Penrith 22-7. This final performance against a good Penrith side gave them 93 points for and 54 against, finishing third in a strong group and qualifying for the school Bowl final. In the final v RGS Newcastle, Bolton did not have the best of starts as RGS scored after they left the door wide open after a penalty. Strength of character was needed and delivered as we scored three unanswered tries against Newcastle to win the bowl 21-7. Matthew Boyers was outstanding in both defence and attack, James Dunne led the try count with seven, but the whole squad; Nathan Stansfield capt, Drew Winstanley vice, James Flatt, Ben Smith, Harry Knowles, Peter Anderson Alex Ross and Oliver Packer all contributed to the success.
Meanwhile, the U13s travelled up to the Fylde coast to participate in their first sevens competition of the year. The draw placed them in a competitive group and the first game saw a comfortable victory against the late replacements for Stockport, Kirkham’s B team. Khan proved too much to handle in his very first match in this format, supported well by the impressive Peary and the hard working Preston. A stuttering start in the second game saw Bolton fall behind to the eventual winners from Wirral GS. However, the second half performance was the launch pad for the rest of the day. A tricky tie against West Hill was won with Somerville and Anderson playing leading roles.
With the Wirral defeat, Bolton were placed in the Plate competition. A win against the host’s B team proved a warm up to the mouth watering semi against Hutton GS. A disastrous first half saw Hutton take an amazing 17-0 lead. The second half performance from Bolton was probably the best 7 minutes of complete rugby this season. A great kick off from Mattison put Hutton under pressure near their try line. Holmes’ pressure on the Hutton line out resulted in the first “mauling try” ever scored at a sevens competition from the impressive Skeels Caldwell. Khan and Barker Smith’s injuries were soon forgotten when Bolton scored their second try to set up a frantic last two minutes. Hutton were now under severe pressure with the off loading game and pace provided by Bolton. Howarth scored with a try of real quality to give a nervous Anderson the chance to seal a famous victory, which he slotted over.
An amazing match between two very equally matched sides resulted in Bolton facing Merchant Taylors in the Plate final. With the Plate at stake Bolton started positively but Merchants’ winger proved the difference with his blistering pace against a very tired Bolton team. The final score of 26:12 was a fair result but the final try from Bolton was a great example of how the team had developed their individual skills and understanding of such a different and complex game.
Currently Bolton school have played in four sevens comps and reached four finals winning two. The seniors have also been invited to represent the Borough of Bolton in the Manchester Youth Games sevens at MCFC on Tuesday 19th March.
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