Depleted 2XV suffer defeat at De La Salle

De La Salle 2XV 45 – 7 Eccles 2XV 

Saturday 24th March 2018

Highlights:

  • 20 secs   5-0   TRY De La Salle
  • 5 mins    12-0  TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 20 mins            INJURY Eccles (14, head/nose)
  • 38 mins            YELLOW De La Salle
  • HT 12-0
  • 43 mins           INJURY De La Salle (4, head)
  • 45 mins           INJURY Eccles (6, shoulder)
  • 47 mins 19-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 56 mins 26-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 61 mins 33-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 66 mins 40-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 67 mins           YELLOW De La Salle
  • 70 mins 45-0   TRY De La Salle
  • 80 mins 45 -7  TRY Eccles (13 Jones); converted (10 Stimson).
  • FT 45–7 

Report:

The second team continue to struggle on with severely depleted numbers and an inconsistent team. Credit must go to all those who showed up and pulled on a shirt, in particular, spectators who, seeing Eccles’ situation, sportingly offered their services. Eccles began with 13 on the field and of them, only 4 had participated in the previous game against Vale of Lune. With late arrivals, wounds, cards and early departures, the tally of numbers on the pitch fluctuated throughout the match and was rarely 15v15. Alongside a full team, the presence of a Physio and a first aid kit was also missed with numerous injuries occurring in a full-blooded contest.

Eccles kicked off but made a disastrous start to the game, surrendering possession to the opposition number 7 on the 10m line, who caught the ball, charged through several half-hearted tackles, and single-handedly scored the opening try with just 20 seconds played, much to the amusement of the home team; 5-0. Eccles continued to play hesitantly. The lack of conviction and communication invited De La Salle to dominate the opening exchanges and from a ruck in a central position inside the Eccles 22, De La Salle moved the ball through their effective backline out to their powerful left winger, who facing a mismatch in defence, bulldozed over in the corner for their second try; converted, despite the angle, with an accurate kick; 12-0.

With just 5 minutes played, things looked ominous for Eccles. However, although the game was to continue with uncontested scrums, the introduction of two more Navy & White shirts at this point made for a far more evenly-balanced competition for the next 35 minutes. With renewed composure and 15 players, Eccles enjoyed more possession. Play moved into the De La Salle half for long periods, the swing in momentum assisted by repeated indiscipline from the home team, who, having begun with all guns blazing, grew more frustrated as the half progressed. On 20 minutes a head collision in midfield, lead to a gashed/broken nose and dramatic blood loss for Eccles 14, Jason X, who unable to continue left the field (15v14). Despite the disadvantage of loosing a man, Eccles continued to compete and with committed tackling, helped by regular De La Salle infringements at the breakdown, the game moved upfield into the home teams’s 22. DLS had a man sent to the bin as half time approached (14v14) but Eccles, who had fought back to recover from the early storm, were unable to turn their possession and pressure into points and the half came to close without further score. HT 12-0

Eccles forward Antony Dutta was unable to continue. Thankfully, Mark Plumridge, spectating on the sidelines had brought kit and boots and was soon on the pitch in the thick of the action. The opening minutes of the second half continued to be an attritional battle. The big De La Salle number 4 left the field with a gushing head split. Shortly after Eccles 7, Hallam X, was unable to continue with a shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff). At 48 minutes, with 15v13 players on the pitch, following a lack of support at a break down Eccles loose possession near the halfway line. The strong De La Salle 11 headed off with the ball on a sweeping diagonal run across the pitch from right to left wing, where he found the space to cruise into the goal area unopposed and score under the posts; converted; 19-0. His individual effort opened the gates for De La Salle who now proceeded to score 4 tries in close succession, with good interplay down the wings using their additional numbers, as Eccles inevitably tired.

Eccles attempt to respond but a promising attack on 65 minutes is thwarted when the skipper twists his ankle on the choppy surface. Heroically, he limps on.  De La Salle earned a second Dairylea slice later in the game but the rebalance in numbers and possession was too late to change the result for Eccles. The 2XV persevered to the end, making a number of determined attacks and their efforts earned them a well-worked try at the death, with fullback Tom Wilson catching a high clearance kick and speed and passing combining to send centre Phil Jones through the gap on the left for the try; converted by Andy Stimson.  FT 45-7

Team:

  1. Stu Cork
  2. Andy Davies
  3. Antony Dutta
  4. Tony Simpson
  5. Dave Cusick
  6. Hallam
  7. Matt Nombela
  8. Washy
  9. Andy Stimson
  10. Alun Davies (c)
  11. Phil Jones
  12. Jason
  13. Tom Wilson

Replacement Mark Plumbridge