Brian Parsons on the burst - Tarleton Second XV
TARLETON SECOND XV opened their 2014 fixtures with a home game against Bolton RUFC, the only team to have beaten them this season.
They knew that any slip up would give Wigan the advantage in the league so a squad of 25 players made themselves available for selection.
The first few minutes showed that Tarleton needed to get rid of their nerves as they fumbled balls and conceded possession in their own 22 for the Bolton stand off to put a drop goal over to give them a 3-0 lead.
Tarleton responded with a small period of pressure that saw them on Bolton’s five metre line with a put in at the scrum, however this was turned over by Bolton but in the resulting put in for Bolton in their scrum the Tarleton front five put them under intense pressure and won a penalty. Lee Booth put this over to level the scores.
For the rest of the first half all the pressure came from Tarleton and Bolton were defending well and putting in tackle after tackle. A Bolton clearance kick didn’t find touch and was gathered by Lee Waddell who made good ground before passing to Lee Booth who cut inside and with a well-timed pass set up Tarleton’s first try through Sam Bradshaw which was converted by Lee Booth to create a 10-3 lead.
A second clearance kick by Bolton was gathered by Klee Booth who powered down the wing drawing two Bolton defenders and creating a gap for Sam Tyrer to exploit with a try after another good pass and added the extra points from out wide with a great kick.
At 17-3 Tarleton were in control and even a good attack by Bolton that ended with a penalty against them in Tarleton’s 22 saw the Tarleton backs run the ball out and using their pace managed to free Sam Bradshaw again to score his second try and at half time the score was 22-3.
The second half started well with another good scrum seeing Matt Lewis taking the ball on and in a double pivot move with the backs released Aiden Miller to score a good try in the corner, Lee Booth scored the extra points from wide with a kick that came off the uprights to sail over.
29-3 ahead and Tarleton took their foot off the gas and started to give away too many penalties resulting in two players being sin-binned and giving Bolton the chance to exploit the wide open spaces which, to their credit, they did scoring a try to bring the score to 29-8.
Tarleton had the last word and from a penalty in the last seconds of the match Tarleton took the three points and emerged 32-8 winners.
The First XV were surprisingly defeated at Fleetwood and will have to concentrate on trying to beat Littleborough at home next week to claw their way out of the relegation zone.
The Second XV are home again against local rivals Ormskirk and must continue winning to keep Wigan in their sights and set up a possible end of season match for the championship.