Colts fight back to chalk up first home win

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ECCLES SNR COLTS 20 – 18 SEFTON SNR COLTS.  06/11/16

In a repeat of our opening day fixture, the Eccles Senior Colts welcomed Sefton back to Gorton Street for the first match of the new Conference League C.  The game back in September saw Eccles endure a torrid first half of injuries and cards as Sefton adopted a furious pace to give them a HT lead. Although the Colts battled back with 3 second half tries, the visitors took home a 21-34 victory. We were determined not to make the same mistakes twice and prepared for a fast and ferocious first half.

As with our first encounter, we were unable to convert our early pressure into points and Sefton opened the scoring, adding two further penalty kicks as a result of our indiscipline. Eccles responded well as a team to the yellow card, competing with commitment and conceding no points during the sin-bin.

The Eccles line out was not as effective as previous weeks, but the back row put in a tremendous work rate, with flankers Joe Gaffey and Matt Small amassing 18 tackles between them in 20 minute period. Reece Walker came off the bench for Matt to make an immediate impact at openside. Cool heads and sustained attacking possession lead to a try from stand in fullback Louis Ayre. HT 5-13.

Despite still suffering a lengthy injury list, Eccles were able to assemble a squad of 20, which meant for the first time this season we were able to boost our second half performance with influential substitutions. Tag team Adam Christey and Callum Baines came on at 6 and 8, Connor James and Zak Brooker switched 2nd Row and fly-half positions (yes you read that) and the Colts found the next gear.  Tackles and work rate from the above and Dillon Carter, John Nicholson, Cameron Higgingbottom (C) and Kyle Dowarka keep us within striking distance. Consecutive tries from Callum and Reece put Eccles narrowly ahead 15-13.

We switch off. Sefton respond and score in the corner, but the conversation hits the post. 15-18. The tension of this close contest builds and ignites into a brawl, ably distinguished by Eccles captain Cami (an act of sportsmanship that was commended by the opposition coaches after the game).

The winning try, the best of the afternoon, involved a wonderful move, initiated by a charge from Adam towards the left corner. Terrific support running ensured Eccles retain possession and shift the ball to the opposite flank, with Mike ‘Missile’ Shaw being sent through on a beautiful diagonal line to score with a few minutes remaining. 20-18.  But it’s not over yet. Sefton are awarded a penalty 40m out and have the opportunity to take victory with the very last kick of the game. It misses, narrowly, and the Eccles Colts record their first home win of the season.

Once again Sefton Senior Colts proved to be a very tough, sporting adversary and we look forward to facing them again, over in Liverpool in our final game of the season. Credit also to the Referee Mr Pemberton who adjudicated the contest with equitable patience.

Next game – Birkenhead AWAY, Sunday 13th November.

More images at  https://twitter.com/EcclesColts

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