Burnley 3rd 24 v Eccles 3rd 15 27/02/2016

After much turmoil the 3rds travelled to Burnley  arriving late and hurriedly assembling a side as only 12 players made it (2 coming direct did not materialise with another not due until after kick off)  . Eccles dealt effectively with early Burnley onslaughts but made little headway with own attacks.The extra man on the home side proved to be decisive in the outcome of the match as the Eccles defence became outmanned on the flanks to see Burnley score the two opening tries . The 3rds had the greater pace in backs and were to move the ball to winger Mike Lewin who weaved his way to score an excellently constructed try .Skipper Dave Bates had vexacious afternoon with the referee with exchanges resembling PMQ’s between Cameron and Corbyn which not surprising since the main tactic the home side seemed to be launch yourself at the ruck with no arms in sight and in the majority of cases totally unpunished. The arrival of Tom Wilson just before the arrival boosted side to 13 but still once short of the opposition and there was hope of overturning the half time deficit of 14-5.The second half produced more of the same with home side concentrating on the direct route through the forwards which eventually proved successful albeit with the aid of a knock on of  an unconverted try but the 3rds hit back with a smart kick off catching their forwards on the wrong side of the pitch  and getting a try of their own in the corner through Mike Lewin.A sniff of winning the match came when a punt into the Eccles half was fielded by Lee Murphy who when tackled passed back to Wes Harrison whose eyes gleamed with delight as raced down touchline bouncing the first defender out of the way leaving other would be tacklers stranded on the flanks as he sped inside through a gap and raced towards the posts from halfway tackled just short passed outside to Craig Wells who finished off the move with a try .A fraught final 15 minutes ensued as each side chased the killer score despite the 3rds best efforts it was the home side managed it with a try to claim victory.A good showing from the squad which saw Conleth McCambridge make a return as centre initially !and some 4th teamers making up the numbers but the extra man for the home side was a telling factor.A full strength squad would surely have won as the 3rds backs had the greater pace than their opponents whilst forwards who worked hard especially  Connor Bates and Andy Waring were hampered by the spoiling tactics mentioned earlier which were employed not only by a number of the starting line up but each successive interchange forward