Before I start with the report proper I would just like to make a few comments for the fans of the Griffalo on the Aspatria web site. I know they read these reports as the “man” in question has made the school boy error of letting it be known he doesn’t like having the mickey taken out of him. That’s rich for someone who has spent all his like using and abusing his team mates. He has certainly earned his new name, what I don’t understand is it’s taken so long for someone to come up with it. Just one other thing before I finish this part of the article, recently the Griffalo mocked one of the emails I had sent to the committee, he didn’t realise my keyboard has a lisp. Anyway, I told him no one likes a smart (you know what). What I forgot to add was, that’s why he appears to have so many friends. Anyway, about the game.
After a few technical problems and then a total brake down away to Wigton the Eccles tram seems to be back on the rails. Two wins against Aspatria and Didsbury Toc H had given the side the momentum needed to clear a few tricky points. This week’s encounter against a visiting Egremont side was now set up to allow the tram to build up a full head of steam.
Before the game the engine driver and fat controller had got the team set up to go hell for leather down the track. Trouble was someone had been messing about with the controls and initially it all went the shape of a pear. Egremont came at Eccles from the start with intent and with no indication of why they should be so lowly placed in the league. This was compounded by the Eccles team thinking they were still on the all weather pitch going through a few basic warm up routines. It was therefore no surprise that the visitors should take an early lead with a penalty. Momentarily Eccles came back with a Mark Greenhalgh try but the engine still wasn’t working properly as Egremont soon had another penalty kick to regain the lead.
At about this time someone had finally found what was wrong with the controls and a quick re-read of the instruction book, by all allowed, the tram to start rolling. So a series of driving forward plays eventually saw Andy Frost go over for a try, which Lee Robson converted. Then with the last play of the first half Martin Thompson broke through mid field and with quick recycled ball Sam Simpson managed to fall over the line with the ball in hand. Lee Robson again converted.
Half time score 19 – 6.
Whereas in the first ten minutes of the game Eccles were dire, in the first ten minutes of the second half they played some amazing rugby. From the restart the ball was taken by Eccles and a continuous series of multiple phases saw Andy Maddox go over and Lee Robson convert. Then straight from the next restart the ball was quickly move to Martin Thompson to score a deserved try. Now it was all Eccles with the visitors struggling to get themselves into the game. This was emphasised with Lee Robson, who was playing not only out of position but also against many of his old school mates, making a break on the opposition 22 and allowing Simon Donovan to go over, and again Lee Robson converted.
We then had, in the opinion of this humble back, the try of the day. With Lee Robson calling the move off the cuff, he turned it inside to Will Parkinson, coming off the blindside wing, who broke through into open space and then quickly passed out wide to Martin Thompson, who then moved it onto Tom Dutton who then fed Adam Wilkinson who streaked off down the wing to score close to the sticks. Lee Robson converted.
Soon after we had more of the Lee Robson show as he strolled over un-opposed and then kicked the conversion. And yes all 33 points was scored in the space of ten or so minutes.
After this I don’t know who was the more stunned, the visitors for having to endure what was being thrown at them or Eccles for what they had achieved. So for the next 30 minutes we had Eccles trying as hard as they might to score more points always just failing as the line approached and Egremont battling hard to regain some pride. To show they were not a totally spent force Egremont almost went over in the last few minutes, being denied by a mixture a resolute and desperate defence by Eccles.
Final score 52 – 6.
This probably was the best co-ordinated team performance I had ever seen from Eccles, as a man for the first ten to fifteen minutes they were rubbish, but after that they were excellent with everyone playing a part in the good work, just about always doing the right things and playing together as a team of 15 players. A great build up to next week’s cup game away to Upper Eden.