Terrible first half leaves Garstang too far adrift

Fight-back: Garstang worked hard to salvage some pride in their home defeat against Bolton
Fight-back: Garstang worked hard to salvage some pride in their home defeat against Bolton
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Rugby Union

Garstang 12

Bolton 24

Garstang suffered a poor defeat on Saturday with a first half performance which was as bad as any in recent memory.

Even before the game things began to go wrong with Garstang having to reshuffle their team as influential flanker Graeme Slater was unable to make the kick-off due to work commitments.

From the word go Bolton looked to stamp their authority on the game and a strangely subdued Garstang team seemed to let them.

It wasn’t long before Bolton got the first score following an horrendous clearance kick by one of the Garstang back three. The ball was run back at the defence and the Bolton player went over in the corner (0-5).

The lead was soon increased as a straightforward move led to one of the Bolton players strolling through the midfield defence and going over under the posts (0-12).

It wasn’t long before Garstang had conceded a third try which came following another piece of sloppy management of the Bolton kick through. Garstang did clear their lines but they were still asleep as Bolton took a quick line out and cantered over in the corner (0-17).

At this point it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon with a heavy defeat on the cards. However, the team seemed to start to get into the contest a little bit and just before half time it looked like they had been rewarded when Andy Lee dived over the line following an effective rolling maul.

Disappointingly as he went to ground the ball it was dislodged and the referee disallowed the try.

Another break by Bolton led to another try with Garstang trailing 24-0 at the break.

During the interval Garstang faced some harsh words and they knew that they would have to improve if they were going to salvage some pride from the game.

Within minutes of the restart Garstang had a foothold in the game as another of their rolling mauls yielded their first score of the afternoon (5-24).

The Bolton forwards, who at times had bossed the first half, seemed to be tiring and Garstang were getting more and more quality ball and field position.

Eventually this told and Orr was able to get on the end of a fine set of forward drives to score under the posts which Robinson improved on with the conversion (12-24).

Garstang knew now that they could get something out of the game even if it was only a losing bonus point for being within seven points. However, despite creating chances, they could not add to their tally.

The team won’t take too much from the overall performance because for certain periods it was not good enough. However, they can hold their heads up with the fact that they came out fighting for the second half and at least salvaged some pride.

GARSTANG: Miller, Kenyon, Jones, Orr (Capt), Parkinson, Lee, Lambert, O’Brien, Brown, Robinson, I.Walling, Bolton, M.Walling, Peck, Nickson. Replacements: Slater, Pendlebury, Hey.