A guest report this week in celebration of the Grand National will provide you all with a reprieve from Nick Spooner’s excessive drivel and smelly banter. Many of you I’m sure are jumping for joy at this news, only to discover that this has instead been written by me (Gareth Lewis) – gutted. However having not been aware of this honour and the need to keep a mental note of try scorers etc pre-match, some of what you read may not be entirely factual and probably doesn’t contain much about the actual match. The 2nd team motto of “get over it” applies.
This weekend saw Eccles welcome Oldham to Gorton Street, hoping to continue with their late season charge up the league table with another victory. Good pre-match preparation led by Pete Jones ensured the squad were ready to match up physically with the sizeable Oldham pack, whilst understanding the game plan of moving the ball wide early on to tire out the opposition in the unusually warm weather.
A powerful start from the Eccles forwards provided a solid foundation on which to execute this strategy perfectly. Excellent scrummaging against the head from the front row of Huw “Misery” Ohri, Dave Roper & Danny Mac allowed the Eccles back line to stretch their opposite numbers from the off and it wasn’t long before the continued pressure paid off, with Tom Othick going over for the opening try, converted by James “Rylan” Wright
A period of ill discipline during a rare foray from Oldham into the Eccles 22 gave the visitors three opportunities to get their points tally off the ground, but some poor kicking from Oldham gave the home side a welcome let off.
This seemed to kick Eccles back into life, with continual pressure and passages of free-running rugby soon leading to a steady flow of tries coming from Nick Spooner, Daniel Stenstrom, Maddie, Alex “Grandad” Binnington, Sandy Brunt, Brothers Parkinson, and a hat-trick from Lee Morris where one of particular note involved him crawling between the legs of six defenders before touching down with an excellent solo try after another impressive performance at fly-half. Oldham continued to provide a strong physical challenge for the duration of the match, which was rewarded with a penalty and an unconverted try after some strong running from the left-winger.
Two special mentions this week. The first of which goes to Scott Morton who managed to chip in with a brace, earning compliments from the opposition on being able to move so well even in his old age. Well done Scott.
Last but not least, we must show our appreciation to Nick Spooner. This alpha male has not only taken on the captaincy duties in the latter part of the season, but has continued to put his “DiCaprio esque” good looks and Under 12’s featherweight boxing championship on the line week in week out during our games through a variety of verbal threats and intimidation tactics towards opposing players. This has really helped the team and given other enforcers within the squad something to aspire towards – thanks Nick.
On a more serious note, it’s important we continue this momentum right the way through to the end of the season, and finish the season off in style by putting our 3rd XV back in their box. Training as usual on Wednesday and with a significant amount of competition for places at the moment, you can’t afford to not be there.