Ashton-on-Mersey u7’s v Eccles u8’s.
Eccles team: Andrej, Callum, Dan, Ellis, Josh, Oliver, Sam.
On a deceptively hot day there was anticipation in the air for the first game of the season, but upon arrival at the club there was no opposition! Thankfully the Ashton u7’s(?) were around and willing to play us, GAME ON!
As the match started it was clear the rust had well and truly set in over the summer break, but that didn’t stop Eccles getting quick possession of the ball and scoring the first try of the game, 1 nil. Ashton came straight back with a try of their own like they hadn’t had a break, or they’d consumed some performance enhancing drugs. We’ll have to wait for the Russian hackers to divulge that information! 1-1.
Eccles looked shell shocked but somehow managed to squeeze through the Ashton defence to get their 2nd try and edge ahead, 2-1. With some good tagging it looked like Eccles were taking control of the game, but Ashton weren’t giving up. With Eccles defensive line bunching together, it was easy for Ashton to pass their way to the wide areas and score 3 unanswered tries, 2-4. The lads didn’t let their heads drop and with Dan’s cries of “defensive line on me!” the tags were being taken off thick and fast, but when they got possession of the ball there was confusion in the group. With players running in the wrong direction, passing forward, dropping passes, throwing the ball in the air and Sam trying to play well above his age group by palming the opposition players off (📢 2 hands on the ball at all times Sam!), it was clear they needed a nudge in the right direction, and fast, with Ashton grabbing another quick try just before the whistle, 2-5.
Half time. Time for Coach Vicki and Benty to work their magic!
The half time team talk seemed to do the trick and the 2nd half started much better. The players were sharp with their tagging and solid in defence, but the odd dropped pass resulted in possession being given away too easily. “Defensive line on me!” cried Dan, but then, like a scene out of the Thriller video, they all lined up and walked forward in slow motion. With all parents shouting “run!” they all crept forward with all parents bemused. Unfortunately this new defensive technique didn’t work and Ashton broke through to score another, 2-6.
As the minutes went by, Eccles started to play better with weaving runs by all, and some excellent offloading, resulting in a couple of brilliant tries for Callum and Josh, 4-6, game on! With the tags falling like leaves in the autumn breeze and shouts of “SAM! 2 HANDS ON THE BALL!!”, things started to click (apart from Sam remembering to keep 2 hands on the ball 🙈).
In the final minutes Ashton were able to break away for a further 2 tries, 4-8, but Eccles fought back hard scoring 3 of their own, 7-8. This was it…..Eccles we’re going to draw level and then nick it in the final seconds! The ref, however, was having non of it and blows for full time.
Final score: Ashton 8 v 7 Eccles
Tries: Callum (2), Dan (2), Ellis (1), Josh (1) & Sam (1).
MotM has to go to Dan for his vocal leadership on the pitch whilst chipping in with a couple of tries – well done Dan!
A shout out to Andrej who was playing his first match after only 3 or 4 training session, he was definitely improving and getting more confident as the match went on 👍.
And another to Coach Vicki who has rescued the team and got the organisation sorted like only a teacher could! (A very loud whistle helps!)
On to the next one 🏉