Do you know what this is, fdcgbtjmunkk,illjmhnu, it’s me banging my head against the keyboard. I’m only doing it because it’s less painful than banging my head against the wall.
After last week’s disappointing result against Littleborough a big performance by all, against a visiting Upper Eden side, was a must to keep the show on the road. Alas it was not to be.
The game started with Upper Eden applying all the pressure and playing all the rugby and it was no surprise to see them eventually score a converted try. To Eccles credit they came straight back and following some good movement of the ball by the backs and a half break by Matt Nombella, Freddy Oakey was released into space allowing him to go over for a try. More good work by the Eccles team was rewarded with a penalty by James Wright giving Eccles a slender one point lead. However the lead was not to last as Upper Eden registered another converted try.
Eccles then came back again and following a good return of an Upper Eden clearance kick the ball was moved in hand with most of the team having an involvement and finally resulting in Mark Greenhalgh driving over from close range to score. This resulted in Upper Eden having the one point lead which they extended with a penalty of their own to make it 13 – 17.
Eccles replied instantly in the form of a Will Parkinson try following a sequence of simple but effective rugby, moving the ball in hand through the backs. The conversion was made good by Tom Dutton.
As we approached the halfway mark Eccles were in total dominance and were awarded a penalty under the visitor’s posts. Instead of kicking the points the scrum option was taken. The attempted drive for the line was halted by another infringement by the visitors. Again a scrum was chosen and this time the Upper Eden scrum held the Eccles forwards, and a bit more, resulting in the scoring opportunity to be lost and the referee to blow for half time.
Half time score 20 – 17.
The second half almost became a carbon copy of the previous week with the Eccles forwards getting involved in an arm wrestle with the strong visiting pack. This starved possession to the Eccles backs who have shown for a number of weeks they are more than hungry for it and can use it well. It would be unfair to say the second half was dower as I did last week however it was scrappy with the action taking place in fits and starts. Despite the arm wrestling Eccles were still in dominance and spent most of the second half in the visitor’s territory. Frustratingly with most of the possession and territorial advantage Eccles could not register anymore points.
Then as the final minutes approached Upper Eden made a very rare venture into Eccles’s 22 and were denied a try with the ball being held up. From the resulting 5 m scrum the visitors drove over following a back row pickup. The conversion was made good and Upper Eden took a four point lead. Soon after, the final whistle was blown and Eccles had to accept another last minute defeat. It’s getting to be a bad habit.