Eccles 3rd 34 v Rochdale 4th 3 03/11/2012

The thirds were expecting a tough encounter as both sides were lying fourth and fifth in the league  and were surprised to see the visitors arrive with only ten players. That problem was swiftly resolved as five Eccles players Sean Baynes, Danny Hollowood , Stuart Smith, Stevie Dore and Gary Hamer (the Eccles skipper who passed the mantle to Andy Davies to lead the home side) joined the Rochdale ranks. Many thanks to those players plus Jordan Bromley and Ricky Reynolds who came on as second replacements for Rochdale and thus allow a credible and competive game  to  proceed.For a large part of the first half there was little to choose between the teams until flanker Greg Wilson back  from a prolonged walkabout down under bagged a couple of tries. This was his first run out and despite being rusty and hindered by a diet of fizzy pop (some call it Aussie lager ) and kangaroo steaks he stretched his legs to good effort with second try a purler as covered threequarters of the pitch before touching down . Nick Hageman kept up his scoring record to speed in from smart try to see Eccles 19-3 ahead at the interval.Eccles had more of the possession in the second period but seemed that the match might become a stalemate but a quick tap from Will  Kester set up John Farrell who raced through fro a neat score. The Eccles loanees certainly did not give the home any favours as shown by the fact that Smithy got ten minutes in the bin but not before teaching Brommers a trick or two of of how to strip the ball. Winger Nick Dufue got in on the try scoring action by also nabbing a brace the first from break by Ben Lark and then showing good pace to go over in the corner.A satisfying win for the thirds with good overall performance and very good day for the rugby when played in this spirit.