Eccles kicked off 2013 by welcoming Fylde, who narrowly won at home earlier in the season, to Gorton Street. Despite a Christmas break of overindulgence by many, Eccles looked to hand out some revenge after being messed around in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and consolidate a strong first half of the season.
Playing in boggy conditions underneath the railway bridge, it was clear that the game was not to be one of flowing rugby, which has at times been a hallmark of the seconds play. Indeed, there were several promising moves broken down by poor handling early on, and aside from a try from the returning Stu Grieves which was astonishingly ruled out by Dec O’Regan, Eccles came away with little to show for a first half spent mostly in opposition territory but a couple of penalties. Interestingly, James Wright was actually seen getting involved in several tackles for the first time this year, possibly due to the good luck hug he received from girlfriend Hannah just before kickoff.
In the second half, Eccles again looked to control the territory, with the forwards defending and running strongly while the back three of Jimmy Mc, Matt Parkinson and Tom Othick, aided by Nick Hageman ceaselessly returning a number of clearing kicks kept the pressure on. This pressure ultimately told as some organised phases from the forwards allowed the backs to create quick ball and release Carl Wilkinson to score the only try of the game.
With the score at 11-0, Eccles looked to further press home their advantage, but more errors meant that no matter how close they got to the line, they couldn’t quite cross it. With Fylde unable to bring a full front row, this did mean uncontested scrums, which given the way the Eccles pack dominated in the maul, could have had an impact on the final score. However, this was still another nil allowed by Eccles, making the tally four for the year and with the leadersyet to come to Eccles, there is a lot to be excited for in the coming months.