Match report: Bolton Thirds 45 Blackpool RUFC 3

Dave Colett
Dave Colett
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A below-par performance saw Blackpool suffer their first league defeat of the season at Bolton.

A depleted Blackpool side were under early pressure and soon conceded a try.

A lopsided penalty count did Blackpool no favours as they struggled to get out of their half and had to scramble in defence constantly.

A sin-binning followed by a red card for dissent saw Blackpool reduced to 13 players for a while and Bolton took full advantage, scoring a penalty and two more converted tries to build a commanding 24-0 lead at half-time.

The second period began in much the same vein as Bolton scored another try but to their credit the visitors battled back.

Strong carries by Mick Harrison, Dan Sutcliffe and Chris Parlour paved the way for second rower Tristan Ainscough to power through the would-be tacklers and break Blackpool’s duck.

Blackpool were playing with renewed impetus and kept the ball alive as Paul Vuti, Carl Reynolds and Daniel Komosinski came to the fore, but Bolton exploited a gap to score again and extend their lead to 38-5.

Blackpool fashioned an almost immediate reply as good work by Louis Shelton and Stuart Charnock saw the ball swept wide for Ashley Swarbrick to dart past his opposite number and touch down in the corner, Leon Mason adding a superb touchline conversion.

Bolton scored again as time ran out to break the 40-point barrier.

Despite an improved second-half display, Blackpool were disappointed with their performance against a strong side who deserved their win.

Prop Mick Harrison was Blackpool’s man of the match. He carried the fight to the hosts all afternoon and was the cornerstone of a powerful scrum.

Blackpool aim to return to winning ways in Saturday’s derby at Preston Grasshoppers.

Blackpool: Harrison, Parlour, Donald, Ainscough, Charnock, Sutcliffe, Reid, Komosinski, Reynolds, Glover, Collett, Mason, Vuti, Swarbrick, Clark; replacements: Woodwards, Shelton.