After a weekend off last week, Eccles were eager to get back on the winning track with a potentially tricky game against Sedgley Park at home. Due to a number of injuries and absences, there were a number of changes throughout the squad; with Jordan Bromley starting at number 8, Pete Jones and Lee Murphy in the centres, Kev Fitzgerald at fullback, Scott Morton at scrum half and Gary Hamer stepping up as a late addition to the match day squad.
As with several other recent games, Eccles were made to work hard in defence early on before taking control and several strong runners were repelled by the Eccles line, before a clearing kick over the top, and a strong chase from Matt Parkinson resulted in an Eccles lineout ten metres out. A pinpoint throw from Dave Roper, a solid take by the safe hands of Dec O’Regan and a well organised eight man shove allowed Pete Cibula to power over for his first score of the day. There was more of the same shortly after, with Sedgley again unable to stop the driving maul of the home team, this time with Chris Wilson touching down.
Another positive aspect of the 2nd’s recent play has been their ability to control the territory, and with Carl Wilkinson and Scott peppering an unsure Sedgley back three with high kicks, more turnovers followed, ultimately resulting in a scores from Pete Jones, blasting through the defence for his first try of the day and Ginger Kev.
Into the second half and Sedgley kept chipping away at the Eccles defence which had already withstood a barrage of pressure on their own line for a ten minute period in the first half. Unfortunately for the home side, this pressure finally took its toll and Eccles conceded their first points in over 200 minutes of rugby as the visitors finally broke the line to score.
Eager to bounce back, Eccles again used the attacking lineout to its full effect allowing Pete Cibula to cross for his second. Sedgley crossed for a second before Pete Jones hit back leaving the final score at 34-10. Special mention to Sandy Brunt, for putting his body on the line for the team and recycling the ball, despite a nasty kick to the back which saw him leave the field, hopefully he gets well soon, as he has kit to wash for leaving his shirt inside out.
A final note, the Christmas night out is this Saturday in Wigan. If you want to come, you will need a ticket to the boxing so please let me know on 07970 127 076 or bring £15 to training and see either Tommo tonight or me on Wednesday.