With the memories of last weeks disappointing defeat to Preston fresh in their minds, Eccles shifted focus back on the league and welcomed Ashton on Mersey to Gorton Street this week.
After absorbing some early pressure from the Ashton forwards, Eccles were able to hit back, releasing Greg Wilson through for an early score. More quick fire tries from Nick Spooner and a second Greg put Eccles in a commanding position and by the time Nick crossed for his second, charging down a kick from the visitors stand off thanks to a destructive scrum from the rest of the pack, the game was all but in the bag.
Good distribution from Gareth at 12, hoping to impress the Wales selectors after the Taffs’ dismal showing against Samoa, allowed Jimmy to score from range and a score from Sandy who took advantage of chaos in the Ashton defence to hack through for his first put Eccles in an unassailable position at the break.
At half time, talk was of maintaining discipline in the face of an Ashton pack which featured some strong runners and with an increase in organisation in defence, Ashton were kept at bay. There were further scores from Gareth Henson, Will Parkinson, who decided he preferred Basketball to Rugby and bounced the ball over as he crossed and a lung busting length of the pitch interception from Tom Othick that ensured the hand was kept on the throttle to the bitter end.
Unfortunately, Fatneck missed the simplest of kicks at the death, which would have rounded the score off to 80-0, after Sandy popped up to save Greg from buying a jug, adding fuel to the fire started by Joe Dale that forwards should not kick.
James Wright, who had skilfully avoided all forms of contact throughout the day, may have thought he would get away without needing a shower. However, it was not to be as he got accidentally tackled by a team mate at full time and everyone accidentally smeared mud all over him, leaving him at least looking like he had played a game of rugby.
Thanks to Dave for again standing in as Skip in the absence of both Stu and Tommo, Lee Brennand, who in a rare moment of sobriety was able to step in at the last minute and thanks to Pete, who once again pulled on a visitors shirt to keep things competitive. The hope now is that this performance, especially improvements in defence, can be carried forward to the next game against Oldham and the seconds can build up a run of form going in to the Christmas break.