Altrincham Kersal 3rd 73 v Eccles 3rd 19 24/09/2016

The thirds saw the other side of the coin for after not conceding a point in opening two league fixtures and having a rattling 68-21 victory against Eagle in the cup they made up for it by shipping a bag full .Due to holiday absences and a couple of players still en route Eccles had to start with only 14 men in a rejigged formation and were made to pay for lapses in defensive concentration ,poor kicking and tackling slipping to 22 points in arrears in a many minutes. At that point the reinforcements arrived not that changed the pattern of play for it 40 points to the home side in the blink of an eye whereupon Eccles roused themselves into action. Winger Nick Hageman took a pass in his own half to weaved his way through ranks of the home defence to score a fine try which galvanised the visitors effort .Hageman doubled his try count fielded a kick in his own 22 racing up the touchline and looking for support but when encouraged by team mates beat the would tacklers to  touchdown with Thompson adding the conversion .The momentum stalled with a home try just before the interval to leave Eccles trailing 47-12 at the interval and then conceding a try straight from the kick off on resumption of play. The thirds overcame this setback to give Kersal a game (indeed it got a bit tetchy at times) and closed the gap with a try from prop  Andy Coop who took a tap penalty 20 metres from the home line looked have been stopped at the initial tackle but ploughed to line with defenders hanging on to twist in a movement I recall seeing in Attenborough’s Blue Planet to score an opportunistic try with Sam Thompson adding the extras.The loss of Tom Rose with a knee injury saw another switch in formation with Eccles fading in last quarter to concede three tries. Kersal were worthy winners but not to extent the scoreline suggests for slippery electric eel home winger the wayward kicking was manna from heaven and he duly bagged a hatrick .Despite the lapses the team battled hard with couple of new  boys in the side debutant in the forwards Anthony Liittleford and new from the start of the season full back Matt Appleby .It was good to see John Brookes back in action after long lay off and he tried to cover every blade of grass so it was no surprised to see him jiggered in the last quarter but was pipped to maestro of the match by the two try display of Hageman. Due to the teams displays the muffin of the match has not yet been dusted off (rumours abound that I am getting soft in my dotage) but with so many players catching banana foot kicking syndrome it had to surface .I noticed Tommo shake his head in despair as one of his efforts went haywire but  for every high C attained there is the bum note  so sorry it you Coops who the award for the clearance which was charged (a generous description it hit the bloke knees) down and ricocheted for the eel to scoot away and score.