Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad, which one is which is all depending of course on your own point of view. First, the maestro has been asked to take over the match reports again, second I’ve been asked not to use self-indulgent literary references. Well, all I can say to that is “I have written what I have written”.
After a string of good results Eccles were looking to extend their run of form with a visit from newly promoted Tarleton. The conditions were not good for a constructive game with the weather giving the appearance of one heck of a Blustery Day. To make it worse we were soon to discover that there were more than a few bears with little brains about.
Eccles raced off into an early lead with a try by Tom Chapman which Danny Holland converted. However Tarleton came straight back and soon ran up a penalty and unconverted try, the try coming after a string of missed tackles by the Eccles players. We then had the appearance of our first bear with a penalty being awarded to Eccles under the visitors posts a quick tap was taken rather than kicking the easy 3 points. Needless to say the scoring opportunity was lost. Things then got worse as Lee Robson had to leave the field, being replaced by Tom Dutton.
The Eccles lead was eventually restored with a good passage of play by the whole team and a well-deserved push over try by the Eccles pack. The lead was then increased with a good response to a poor Eccles kick. The visitor’s winger was closed down quickly and forced to give the ball away cheaply and quick thinking by James Wright and Tom Dutton saw young Tom run in for a try which was converted by Danny Holland.
The second forced substitution came as Tom Chapman came off which meant a re-arrangement of the whole team. Tarleton took advantage of this and reduced the Eccles lead with another un-converted try which appeared to come about following the guards at the breakdown taking a quick nap (too much honey I think). Eccles then gave the impression that they had their finger placed over the self-destruct button as collectively they all seem to be making mistakes. The highlight of this was the appearance of the second bear with Will Parkinson, having been moved to fullback, chose to run the ball out from the in-goal area rather than touch it down. He was clearly suffering from pre-emptive concussion. He then decided to kick and chase, which resulted in the young lad meeting a Tarleton elbow which laid him out cold. This meant we had to drag Tom (Lazarus) Chapman out of his invalid chair and request he retake the field. Which he did so well, I still don’t understand why he went off in the first place.
All these goings on quickly brought us to half time with the score at Eccles 19 – Tarleton 13.
The second half started with Eccles in total control which was the theme for most of the next 40 minutes. Following a good break by Tom Dutton, quick recycled ball saw Simon Donavan drive over for a try which Danny Holland converted. With Eccles putting Tarleton under pressure a break from the base of the scrum by Sam Vincent presented Glen Cahill with a try which again Danny Holland converted.
Even with Eccles on top of the game there appeared to be far too many silly mistakes being made and you got the impression that the score was flattering the home side. Notwithstanding this Eccles continued to dominate and Tom Chapman (with arm in sling) registered his second try of the game which Danny Holland converted again, making a good kicking day for the fly half.
With a comfortable lead Eccles took the foot off the gas, laid back in the easy chair and had another snooze allowing Tarleton to score another try following far too many missed tackles. This took the score to Eccles 40 – Tarleton 18. But before the game could come to a close the fourth forced interchange of the day arrived with Connor Thornley giving his impersonation of James Wright with a broken ankle. Needless to say, there was lots of shouting, he was convinced his foot was hanging by a thread after all he heard it snap, and a concerned mother, not the first of the day, came running down the stairs. However, just like James Wright at Sefton, it wasn’t broken, just very painful with damaged ligaments. To finish it off, the biggest insult for Connor was being replaced by a prop at hooker.
With the game giving at times the appearance of a war of attrition, and we’ve still got another week till Remembrance Sunday, it was a costly win but deserved despite the moments of indiscretion by quite a few. With the ball rolling and Eccles moving to second place in the league we now have three away games to play in the league in November. By the end of which we will truly know where we stand.