BOWDON kept both their promotion and league title hopes alive with a hard fought victory over one of their promotions rivals.

Bowdon now have only have two league games left and the Cheshire Bowl final.

This was always going to be a hard fought encounter, similar to the earlier game at Clay Lane which Bowdon won by 21 points to 15. Ormskirk, with an eye on promotion, were looking to get the better of the Clay Lane side.

Early skirmishes were fast paced with no team getting the upper hand, the game being played mostly between the two 10 metre lines. On 10 minutes Bowdon were awarded a penalty just inside the Ormskirk half, but straight in front of the posts. With a hefty hoof Mike Swetman put the visitors ahead.

Bowdon extended their lead seven minutes later. From a lineout on the Ormskirk 10 metre line a quick through to the front was taken by Gallagher, the ball was moved to the backs at pace with both Swetman and Hechter making good ground before the ball travelled to Phil Gare who ran in from the 22, bouncing the full back on his way to score out wide on the right for an unconverted try.

Ormskirk replied five minutes later with a penalty after Bowdon were penalised at the scrum.

This spurred Bowdon on and on 28 minutes from a lineout midway inside the Ormskirk 22 the Clay Lane pack powered towards the try line, Harry Booth the last man up carrying the ball, after the maul smashed past the white wash. Swetman added the conversion for a 3 : 15 lead.

Again Ormskirk came back scoring an unconverted try out wide on the Bowdon right. This would be the last points scored in a pulsating first half.

The second half would prove to be similar to the first with both teams looking for the win that would keep their seasons hopes still intact. On 55 minutes a promising Bowdon attack looked to have been snuffed out when the Ormskirk full back picked up the ball in his own in goal area, but his kick went straight up in the air, only to fall in to Thiu Barnard's hands to score. Again Swetman added the conversion.

On 60 minutes Ormskirk kept the game alive again scoring out wide to reduce the points difference by five points. Five minutes latter Swetman scored all seven points, going over after quick ball created a gap on the home sides 22, and a bulldozing run by the inside centre resulted in a try beside the uprights. This gave Bowdon a well deserved 16 point lead.

In the last 10 minutes indiscipline within the Bowdon ranks led to a number of penalties against them. This allowed Ormskirk to pressurise the Bowdon line, eventually scoring a converted try with 5 minutes to go. Further indiscipline, but excellent defence had Bowdon pinned on their own try line. Eventually Ormskirk crashing over with the last play of the game for the final seven points of the game.

The result means that Bowdon’s dreams are alive but Ormskirk with only one game left miss out on promotion this season.

Bowdon 2s had a 23 : 7 win over Broughton Park 3rds to keep them at the top of their league, with the thirds also winning 62 : 12 against Dukinfield 2s.