With last week’s away defeat to the distant Whitehaven still hurting Eccles took on a team a bit closer to home in the form of Aldwinians. We also had a few returning faces with Chippy, Butty and Wayne.
The kickoff was slightly delayed for a minute’s silence due to the passing away of a life member and ex-first team captain David Bark who has gone to join in, or maybe just watch, that never ending game in the sky.
From the off Eccles were in the ascendency and we soon had an attacking lineout 10m out from the visitors line. A regulation catch and drive then saw Pete Cibula going over for a try which was converted by Lee Robson.
The visitors only reply to the pressure being exerted by Eccles was a penalty kick, however this was only a short respite as Eccles started to lift the work rate. First with a penalty of their own, kicked by Lee Robson and then with the ball being moved in hands at a rate rarely seen by an Eccles team. This resulted in Aldwinians conceding one too many penalties for the referee’s liking and so had a player shown a yellow card. Eccles then took full advantage of this and quickly capitalised moving the ball again through hands and putting Matt Nombello in for a try.
With the last few minutes of the half to go and Eccles in their own 22 you would think that all you need to do was make things safe and run the clock down. Well not this lot, with a number of bad decisions whilst holding possession Eccles gave the visitors a last minute chance with a 5 m scrum. Then a series of soft tackles in the middle of the field saw an Aldwinians player go over for a converted try.
Half time score 15 – 10.
The second half started with both teams again exchanging penalties then Eccles started to flex their muscles and dominate proceedings. Once again moving the ball through hands Lee Robson broke through to score and convert his own try. At this point the visitors appeared to implode, breaking the two cardinal rules of any sport, i.e. getting on the wrong side of the referee and arguing between themselves.
Eccles extended their lead with a try by James Radcliff (no ‘e’ I have been told) which Lee Robson again converted. Aldwinians showed their displeasure with this try by having a player sent from the field for expressing himself too much. However the visitors were not going down lightly with the defiant pressure being placed on the Eccles defence resulting in Sam Simpson being given a 10 minute rest.
Eccles responded with another well worked try, this time by Mike Lewin and again converted by Lee Robson.
As the clock was ticking down to the end Eccles had another player given an early rest by the referee. This gave the visitors the opportunity to score a last minute consolation try to take the score at the final whistle to 39 – 18 in Eccles favour.
A good team performance again with the backs for once outscoring the forwards with regard to the try count.
Now I have to say that following my report of the St Benedicts game I was told that I should not praise or make positive comments about individual’s performances. Well I’ve only got one comment to make about that, alas I’m not allowed to publish it. But I’m quite happy to express it to anyone who asks. ma
One final passing comment, for those who aren’t aware Saturday’s game between Aspatria and TocH was postponed due to the TocH coach being stuck on the M6. So those who complain about the long journeys to the far flung northern regions just be glad we always manage to get through, so far.