With the game plan of crashing it in up the middle and testing the defence fresh in the minds, some early pressure resulted in a penalty, slotted by Jimmy to steady any nerves.
Some solid tactical kicking and good returning from the back three of Matt, Tom and Ellis meant that much of the early part of the game was spent in Oldham territory. Greg Wilson ultimately made this territorial advantage count, charging down the kicker and then making use of the enormous in goal area to kick ahead and touch down for the first try, with the added conversion giving Eccles an early 10-0 lead.
This simple gameplan yielded more results shortly after, with the Eccles pack’s dominance in the scrum bringing a series of penalties, and ultimately a penalty try as the experienced Oldham forwards had no answer from the Eccles 8 man shove. A third Eccles score from a powerful break from Will in the centre gave Eccles a comfortable 24-0 half time lead.
There was more of the same from Eccles in the second period thanks to committed, organised defence, intelligent kicking and a number of turnovers from the mercurial Joe Dale, who when not stealing ball at the breakdown was giving the opposition ten metres.
Improvements in the pod system allowed the backs more space and time with which to attack the tiring Oldham defenders and ultimately allowed Jimmy to touchdown in the corner to put the score to 29-0. Eccles once again kept their foot on the throttle and another break from Will was recycled by Tom Othick and finished by Nick Spooner in the corner leaving the final score 34-0.
For the second week running, one of the most impressive aspects was the nil allowed to the opposition and should Eccles be able to keep this miserly defence going, they will surely continue to climb.
Thanks to Will and Connor for stepping in at centre in the absence of Tommo ‘The Badger’ and Horsey Gareth and a special mention for the efforts of the front row, who without the option of a replacement, bullied their opposite numbers for the full 80 minutes.
With no league fixture next week, there is a friendly against Trafford MV away and it is important to keep this momentum flowing so get down to training tonight and Wednesday.