Broughton Park 4th v Eccles 3rd 05/01/2013

A clash between the top two teams in the division promised to be a close considering they drew earlier in the season.it did not disappoint as the lead changed hands no fewer than eight times with the result in the balance right up to the final move but Eccles hung on to claim victory and retain top spot.The thirds started well in the heavy conditions and soon had points on the board as a bit of adventure from Park came unstuck as a loose pass was siezed upon by winger Ryan Chattington who sped over scoring with a flamboyant forward roll .Park not to outdone came back with a smart try right through the heart of the Eccles defence to nudge ahead and threatened to expose the home defence but were kept at bay by mixture if solid defence and some wayward passes. The thirds regained the lead after a period of pressure as no 8 Will Kester scored a cracker of a try powering through after taking the ball at the back a scrum to exploit the blindside .Once more Park retook the advantage wrong footing the home defence with inside pass to carve an opening from which they scored to lead 14-10. Despite the conditions both side showed a willingness to play an expansive game when required with Eccles having the better of the forward exchanges though being a little slow to support thus not being able to exploit field position against a defence which was very quick to realign itself. Just as it seemed that the thirds would trail at the interval centre John Farrar ran onto a pass to crash through would be tacklers and surge under the posts with Sam Thompson finally landing a conversion to leave Eccles 17-14 in front at half time. The advantage did not last long into the second period as Park conjured another opening to add their third try to nip ahead 21-17.Both teams went all out for the next vital score with number of near misses until centre Josh Boothman powered through a gap to race under the sticks for the fourth Eccles try which Thompson converted.Thompson had found his kicking boots as Park were penalised and he slotted over from out wide. Advantage Eccles27-21 but surprise ! within minutes Park were by in front scoring their fourth try to lead by a single point. With time marching on Park were once more penalised and Thompson landed the penalty to Eccles ahead 30-28 .The final minutes were certainly fraught as the visitors threw everything into trying to snatch victory and it was all hands to the pump in the Eccles defence .The thirds hung on to a marvellous win with a great all round team performance but special mention to the non stop endeavours of the back row trio of Will Kester, Adam Austin and Lee Murphy.