Ashton U Lyne 2nd 46 vEccles 4th 0 05/10/2013

Not a good day for the fourths on their travels with a heavy defeat in match which resembled an episode of Holby City. A much changed team with an entirely different backline and new faces in Mike Whitely ,Johnathon Barker-Smith, Rob Stanger and Simon Agnew turned out to accompany returning brother Paul. A bright start should have brought an early try for Eccles but the pass was spilt and from then on possession and chances became a rarity as the penalty count against them mounted. Ashton edged ahead with a penalty then the wheels started to come off second row Andy Coops went off with foot injury quickly followed by captain Billy Borrett
concussed in clash of heads with Simon Horner (a team mate? ) with no recognised front row Simon Edwards coming on to fill the gap the match went to un contested scrums. Replacement second row Mike Whitely made a great opening run on his debut only to spring his shoulder in the process with his game run Bob Stanger entered the fray only to get a yellow card on his first involvement for going in the ruck from the side (took one for the team as it was perceived to an accumulation of team offences). Ashton added another penalty before winger Paul Agnew who had just replacde his brother looked to broken his wrist on his first intrusion into the match.Paul Newton now acting captain on the pitch tried rally the troops as Ashton inched further ahead with another penalty but was hit by a further blow as stand off Alan Wolstencroft also succumbed to an popped shoulder with worse to come as the home found a gap in the Eccles defence to score a try to lead 16-0 at the interval. The second half saw a serious setback for Eccles as an Ashton centre tore through the Eccles ranks was momentarily halted but regain his feet to score under the posts .Ashton the sensed the chance to fill their boots and Eccles had to work hard to contain them which was task made harder as centre Wes Harrison went off to be replaced by the last substitute a forward just as flanker John Brookes was leaving for 10 minutes after receiving a yellow card. Ashton rattled in three more tries but Eccles fought on to the end and were mightly unlucky not to score as the piled on the pressure in last ten minutes with man of the match prop Adam Calderbank (a non stop display of hard running and also in the thick of the action) unlucky to be stopped inches short of the line by illegal killing of the ball which suprisingly only merited a penalty. A gutsy performance on a strange afternoon with credit to the players for sticking with it despite the setbacks but there was still room to award oven bottom of the match to Andy Coops for the time he was on the pitch still manged the worst pass which would have needed a giant to catch it