If you were to describe the performances of the second team this year, unpredictable would probably be the most accurate description and after two losses on the bounce, they were desperate to return to the organised, flowing rugby of a few weeks ago against a Littleborough side who were in a good run of form.
When two thirds of the back row turned up resembling actors from Derren Brown’s Apocalypse due to some late night “Atomic Bombs,” the warning signs were there for all to see (and smell). However, following a solid warmup, fingers were crossed that this would be a mere bump in the road. And so it was, with four minutes on the clock, and Jimmy Mac already with 14 points to his name, Eccles had got off to a flyer.
The third set of halfbacks in as many games posed a threat from the first whistle, whilst clever support lines from the back three meant a number of crowd pleasing tries from deep were possible. An increase in communication and mobility in the pack also meant the backs had much more quick ball to play with and this certainly allowed them to show some of the flair missing in recent weeks. The forwards can also take pride in their pushover try in the second, having been pushed over their own line earlier in the game.
A couple of defensive wobbles around half time aside, Eccles performance was a marked improvement from the last few weeks, and obviously although I cant mention every try scorer, special mentions to Dave Roper, Fatneck and Pete Cibula for representing front rowers everywhere with their scores and also to Chris Wilson whose finish crowned one of the candidates for an already hotly contested try of the season title.
Due to us picking four second rowers, and the Littleborough team being short on numbers, Pete Lillie did the decent thing and offered his services to the visitors. Despite being targeted from nearly every restart, he caught everything, and was seemingly involved in every breakdown and was a contender for their MOTM.
There were two causes for concern late on however. Firstly, Tommo’s curious decision to start growling like a threatened badger which resulted in the confused opponent turning the ball over in a maul. The other major worry was Josh’s choice of post match clothing. I know I am on dodgy ground when commenting on people’s outfits, however, even I wouldn’t dream of wearing lavender chinos and blue deck shoes, especially not this far North.