After another good home win last week Eccles were determined to keep the show on the road with a committed performance away to Blackburn. However this was not before one of the squad had registered their displeasure regarding last week’s report and one was still trying to get over a recent Celtic episode.
From the start Eccles showed they were up for the challenge and a regulation catch and drive at a lineout saw James Radcliff take the ball over. Andy Maddox says he should have scored but James wouldn’t give him the ball.
Eccles maintained the pressure and from the back of a scrum with a switch in direction by Will Hamer and a high risk pass to Matt Nombello, Mike Lewin was put free into space, then in support came Fred Oakey who took the pass and ran into score. Lee Robson licked the conversion.
Eccles looked in total control but a mess up at the base of the scrum allowed the home side to chip ahead. With both sides racing to claim the ball the Eccles fullback was adjudged to have tripped the oncoming Blackburn player and so was shown a yellow card. While Eccles were still trying to reorganise themselves Blackburn went blind from a scrum in the Eccles 22 and worked the extra man to score in the corner from which they converted.
Eccles finally got themselves sorted out in the back line by inter-changing a forward for a back and things started to look up again. Eccles then looked as if they were going to score with a good phase of rugby producing a significant overlap. Alas the important pass was woefully astray and the chance was gone. Nevertheless Eccles were determined to maintain the pressure which they did and were rewarded with a penalty kicked by Lee Robson.
With the half time whistle beckoning Blackburn missed what looked like a regulation penalty and so the half time score was 7 – 15.
The second half started with Eccles on top and we soon have an attacking scrum on the Blackburn 5m line. With a large blindside beckoning all that was needed was the ball moved through hands to the winger, but contact in the tackle was sort and so another opportunity lost. Yet again this spurned chance did not subdue the effort being put in by the Eccles team and we soon had another penalty kicked by Lee Robson.
Lee Robson then showed us just how good his boot was with another penalty kick from just inside the Blackburn half, sailing over the bar with room to spare. But it wasn’t all Lee, with good work between Fred Oakey and Will Parkinson first with a good dual chase down of a kick and then interplay to set Will free into space, with the young lad only being tackled by the stretched cover defence on the Blackburn 22.
This pressure again was eventually rewarded with a Tom Dutton try following good inter-play between a number of players. Lee Robson again kicked the conversion. With the game secure and the desire for the bonus point Eccles continued in their hard work, alas it was not to be with a few opportunities lost due to technical malfunctions in the lineout department.
Final score 7 – 28.
An excellent away day performance, one which must be repeated throughout the season if Eccles are to maintain their push for promotion. After much discussion between the allacadoes the MoM award went to Sam Simpson, if only because he played the full 80 minutes for once and didn’t get a yellow card. Oh and he had a good game. Happy now.