Eccles squad; Ollie. Danniel. Mathew. Finn (Capt). Ben. Maxwell. Jonnie. Jake. Jack
It was appropriate that this was Rememberance Sunday in more ways than one.
The minutes silence before the start of the game was treated with the respect it deserves by both teams. Eccles lines up with a depleted squad, due to committments elsewhere, and also a coach down for the same reasons!
On a huge playing area, there was a suspicion that the Bolton lads were about to throw the ball around to make use of the wide spaces. However, this was to play into the plans of our own speedsters around the fringes and along the wings!
In the opening minutes, the usual tentativeness into contact soon disappeared as it became clear that both teams would really be having a go each other today! As both defences held tight for five or six minutes, the tackles from all the boys came with full comittment but not without the occasional dropped ball.
Despite the Eccles offensive, it was inevitible that a mistake would lead to the first score. After a lost ball into contact, Bolton fed the pilll through the hands until a gap appeared for their excellent center to exploit and score neatly. A further 5 minutes lapsed where Max, Mathew and Finn looked to drive through the middle, inviting the Bolton defence in, before Danniel passed to Ollie. Deep in our own half, from what appeared a non-scoring position, Ollie had other ideas! He set off up the right hand side being chased by two defenders. At one point he looked to have lost the legs to make it any further, but his ‘E-numbers’ kicked in and Ollie found an extra gear, going the full length for a tremendous try to bring it level.
This gave the boys added momentum as they went looking to attack the Bolton unit.
With Mathew setting off on a one-directional charge, again Daniel acted as scrum half and sensed an opportunity to claim a score. He still had work to do over the line, but found the strength to ground the ball to put us in front.
Next on the rampage was Maxwell, again taking three Bolton defenders to halt him before the ball found its way to Ben on the wing. He set off on the outside where he just knew they wouldn’t catch him! The first of three for Ben in a wonderful all-round display.
Jake was a thorn in the opponents plans, as he played on the shoulder of our big boys ready to snap up any loose ball and tackling anything that headed towards him!
After the turn-around, with Bolton still chasing the game, Eccles knew they would have to dig deep as being short of replacements they would be tested on this huge pitch.
Jack made his Eccles debut at half time and showed just what an asset he will be. Jake just managed to off-load a ball from the contact to Ollie who saw the potential for an attack with Jack. He burst through the first tackle up the right wing before gaining 40 yards (sorry, kids, this is old speak used for measuring distances!), before being tackled.
Ben came off his wing looking for the loose ball and somehow managed to squeeze through a gap which no else could! Great score.
Mathew was rewarded for his strong powerful runs with a score of his own, as was Max.
The best score was saved to the last; After constant Bolton pressure in which they were dseperately unlucky as their winger scored over the first line he saw, Eccles took posession far over to the left. With Mathew holding the ball and looking right to all his players, Bolton negelcted our fastest runner standing outside of Mathew. A simple switch sent Ben off along the full length of the pitch, with the whole Bolton team having no chance to catch him. The score put the game to bed!
Jonnie, on the other wing, proved we have speed in attack elsewhere. Where his opposite number went on the attack, Jonnie guided him into touch to dilute the threat. Ben, Jake and Ollie kept the tackle count high with Finn (Captain on the day), Max and Matt laying the platform for our attacks!
A fantastic team performance! Hard to accept it is their first season playing contact rugby and only 5 games into the season.
This Wednesday 6.30pm and Sunday 10.30am; training at the club.
All wellcome including new starters!!