Bowdon 8 - Wirral 6
By Lee Vickers
Battling Wirral but Bowdon Win
A damp field in Altrincham was the setting for a hard fought, but good spirited match between visitors Wirral and top Cheshire team Bowdon.
The peninsula-men's party consisted of 20 players, all eager to make their mark against the highly rated hosts. Callum, Jimbo and last season's top try scorer Vinny were late withdrawals due to injury.
The match began with great intensity from the Wirralians, with some great work at the breakdown and destructive ball carrying. This was rewarded with the first try of the game for centre Leon.
The hosts responded by upping their own tempo, and were soon on the score board themselves, with two tries in close succession.
Wirral wing Harvey, then pulled the visitors back through a line break and full application of gas to get him over the line.
Two more tries from Bowdon followed, leaving the score at the first interval Bowdon 4 - Wirral 2.
The visitors made some changes at third time, with Charlie coming into second row for Dylan, Dom replacing scrum-half Ben, and Tyler for prop Will.
Tries were less abundant in the second third, with both teams grinding away at the breakdown; double digit phases were not uncommon. Leon added a second try to his tally having broken through several tackles to make it to the whitewash.
More changes from Wirral saw Alex come on at hooker for Ioan, Ethan J replace wing Matt, Jack A for second row Joseph, and Jack L for No8 Tom M.
Bowdon refused to let the visitors narrow the gap, and touched down two more tries before the second interval. Bowdon 6 - Wirral 3.
The arm wrestle continued in the final third, again with many many phases of play. A darting run from Wirral full-back Luke broke through the Bowdon defence in the visitor's half, and from there his pace carried him all the way to the try line. Bowdon soon responded with a try of their own. 7-4.
Wirral changes early in the third saw Ben, Dylan and Will return to the field for Dom, Kai and Ethan R respectively - followed shortly after Joseph returning to the field for the injured Jack L.
Another destructive break through by Leon led to his hat-trick try. Wirral were within touching distance.
Solid replacement prop Tyler, playing only his second game then scored his debut try - showing unexpected pace to race clear of Bowdon defenders. 7-6.
Any hopes Wirral had of making the scores equal evaporated in the last few minutes, when relentless Bowdon pressure led to a break in the Wirralian defence. Scrambled attempts from both sides to claim loose ball and tackle attackers ultimately resulted in a try for the hosts.
Final score: Bowdon 8 - Wirral 6
Wirral Scorers: Leon (3), Harvey, Luke, Tyler.