AN experimental Bowdon side beat Bolton 31-17 in their second pool game in the Rugby Football Union Intermediate Cup last Saturday.

Playing on the all-weather pitch at Burnage RUFC, the early exchanges saw Bolton on top with a more efficient scrum and line-out as Bowdon tried to get a foothold in the contest.

Bolton motored into an eight-point lead from a penalty and try on five and 13 minutes, respectively.

Bowdon centres Eddie Brady and Joe O’Driscoll had to be alert and, along with Liam Rice and Sean Convey, put in a considerable tackle count.

Will Nicholson at stand-off moved the ball well as and when possession was available before lock Dan Brown scored a try from a rolling forward move, bringing Bowdon back into the game.

The half progressed with Bolton edging territory and possession as the Bowdon forwards eased their way in and out of the game.

Both sides gave away numerous penalties, and the kicking tee was heavily in use as points were regularly exchanged up to half time as Bowdon went into the break 16-11 ahead.

The second half began ominously for Bowdon as Bolton were awarded a further scoring penalty two minutes in. Nicholson replied as Bowdon began to fire into action and, with Dan Brown, Alex Bowen and Lewis Kitchiner all showing a renewed appetite for the ball and the contest and captain Neil Bright leading by example, they took a grip on possession and the game.

When Bolton narrowed the lead to two points, it seemed to spur Bowdon on.

The introduction of some familiar faces from the bench made a significant difference and Bolton began to make mistakes as pressure increased and space and time on the ball was reduced.

When a handling error was scooped up by left-wing Harry Briscoe the result was inevitable as he powered away to score under the posts.

The game was slipping away from Bolton with the final nail in the coffin coming when Sean Hughes collected a ball on the 22-metre line and allowed the forwards to indulge in some intricate support and handling before Bright touched down for the final try.

This weekend sees Bowdon seconds visit Liverpool Collegiate, while the thirds are at home against Newcastle (Staffs), both 2.15pm kick offs.