For the second week running we had an away game, perfect weather and a squad of 12 to select from. The Eccles U10s made the short trip to Broughton Park for a three way with Leigh. Both BP and Leigh had numbers to field two teams and it was decided that three games each of 10 minutes would be played. The fixture list for Eccles was Leigh I followed by BP I and then BP II.
To even out time on the pitch, due to short game time (and to supposedly make it easy to make substitutions) two subs would be used in each game at the half way point.
After the warm up and some rucking drill, executed well, we took to the field for the first game.
Game 1. Leigh I
Squad: Ben, Charlie, Guy, Harry, Jack, Josh, Mateusz, Mitch. Subs: Lucas, Reece
The least said about this game the better!
Eccles, in the main, stood watching and applauding tackles or runs into contact whilst Leigh were busy driving over the contact area and recycling or winning the ball. A series of three rucks moved Leigh into prime field position and with gaps in the Eccles defence was an easy try to take the lead.
Eccles best endeavours going forward were more than matched by Leigh’s defensive effort. Time after time Eccles were found ball watching whilst Leigh were ball getting!
Leigh proceeded to score 4 further unanswered tries, albeit each caused by a single missed tackle rather than poor rucking, to complete a resounding win.
Final Score: Leigh 5 – 0 Eccles.
Needless to say the after match team talk was stern to say the least. There was weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth and many other biblical references that could be applied to describe the debrief.
With Charlie needing to go home due to illness the squad was then down to 11. Hope you are better soon!
Game 2. Broughton Park I
Squad: Ben, Jack, Lewis, Lucas, Mitch, Mateusz, Reece, Zac Subs: Guy, Harry
Following the stinging team talk a response was needed and it came! From the first whistle rucks were being hit, tackling keener and running more assertive.
A pop pass out to the supporting Mitch put Eccles into the lead. The ever supporting Ben took the ball from the scrum, broke the tackle to double the score. Lewis then carried two men over the line, after a break and offload from Ben, to score the third.
A break down the wing from BP (and possibly a foot in touch!) got the opposition on the score sheet. From the restart drives up the middle from Jack and Lewis put Ben through the gap and despite a last gasp tackle his momentum carried him across the line.
Back came BP through a series of rucks and won ball. With the try line beckoning a tackle from Mateusz forced the knock on and save the try. From the ensuing scrum Reece broke through four individual tackles before offloading to Ben. Further offloads to Lewis then to Jack and back to Ben to score a fantastic try and the last one of the game.
Final Score: Broughton Park 1 – 5 Eccles (Ben 3, Lewis, Mitch)
A much better performance and “Yes, Ben” it was the reaction I was looking for (excellent game by the way)
Game 3. Broughton Park II
Squad: Guy, Harry, Josh, Lewis, Mateusz, Mitch, Reece, Zac Subs: Ben, Jack, Lucas
With the morale buoyed by the previous game Eccles took to the field for their final and what would be their most competitive match of the day.
The opening encounters were even stevens with no team able to gain the advantage until Mitch took the ball into contact, the ball recycled and fast hands from Zac putting Mateusz away down the wing.
If there was any thought of this game being a runaway like the last two, then it was put to bed immediately as a misplaced pass allowed BP to draw level. Losing the ball at the restart is never a good thing especially as the ball fell to the BP speedster who looped round the whole team to score in the corner for a 2-1 lead.
Not to be out done, our own speedster Mitch took the ball from the restart dodging and weaving up the middle to level. Just to prove the point he did exactly the same again seconds later (must be that Teflon shirt he wears!) to put Eccles back in front.
The to-ing and fro-ing continued as a missed tackle gave BP their third try.
With players queueing for the ball Guy made a break and a pass inside to Mitch gave him an uncontested run to the line for his third and Eccles fourth try of the game.
With time running down, Mitch proved that his first two tries of the game weren’t flukes by running through the BP team again. Time was called for the match official with BP in possession for the last play of the game. They moved the ball down field through several rucks recycling the ball well until they ran into Mateusz. He stole the ball and head off in search of the try line. The chasing BP pack caught him just short of the line but with support from Guy the move continued and an offload to Jack gave him the opportunity to crash through two BP defenders to score the final try of the day.
Final Score: Broughton Park 3 – 6 Eccles (Mitch 4, Jack, Mateusz)
The reports above only really list the blow by blow tries and not necessarily reflect any individual performance outside those tries. A special mention goes Zac for a cracking tackle in the second game and really fast hands for Mateusz’ try. Also for Harry, who gave an improved and much more involved performance over last week.
After the first game this could have easily been a day to forget but the performance levels picked up but still lots to work on.