LIVERPOOL St Helens took the field at the Mortfield Pavilion in Bolton looking to open their account for 2023.

They left it having done just that, but were relieved to hear the full time whistle after withholding a spirited Bolton fightback.

In a feisty game in which both sides played equal part and at times could be heard giving the referee plenty of advice, LSH started the stronger, running in two first class tries in the opening ten minutes.

A fine run through the middle from Jake Dickinson found Alex McClurg who sprinted clear to score by the posts. This was quickly followed by a fine run out of defence by Matty Wood, continued speedily by Joe Jackson and finished off by Matt Cunliffe, both converted by Wood for a 14-0 lead.

After a penalty apiece took the game to 3-17 at half time, LSH went further ahead with a fine score from Wood in the right hand corner before Bolton came back into the game in the last twenty minutes.

A try in the 69th minute was followed by a successful catch and drive six minutes later, this time converted to leave the home side just five points adrift. And that was how a very watchable game of rugby, ended. Next week LSH are away at Warrington 2.15.