Eccles 4th 0 v Ashton U Lyne 2nd 27 11/01/2014

The fourths welcomed a strong Ashton side to Gorton Street and preformed well in the face of such stern opposition .Despite a rush of late cry offs the efforts of BILLY B enabled Eccles to field a full squad even if some were dug up from beyond the grave to whit Clive Crowther on the wing who had shaken the cobwebs off his boots and made a couple of roosting bats homeless in the process. The early pressure and indeed for much of the first half came from the visitors
who tried to use their power to overwhelm the homes side but despite being camped on the Eccles line they could not break the fourths resistance as the players tackled for their lives. It was well into the half before Ashton finally managed to find a way through the Eccles defence for the opening try. A further spell of Ashton pressure produced a penalty which they were only to glad to convert .Eccles only managed to get into the ooponents half on four occasions and on one those shortly before the break star forward Richard Westram who started at prop before moving to no 8 broke through but was hauled down metres short of the line and from the ensuing ruck the ball was spilled and the try that could have changed the course of the match went begging.8-0 at the interval was fiar reward for the fourths defensive effort though Ashton must felt they deserved a wider margin. All the good work was squandered within a few minutes early in the second half as first the Ashton centre carved through a sea of failing arms to score under the posts and then Eccles were slow coming to line out which was quickly taken with ball spun wide and the visitors winger sped in at the opposite corner.20-0 in the context of the match was an unassailable lead though Eccles did plug away with Nick Delaney in at fly half trying to get the backs going and Westram produced some bullocking surges but Ashton came back with a further try to cement their lead. The match finished on a downbeat moment as winger Danny Rice suffered a broken ankle whilst being tackled. Ashton merited the win but the fourths showed guts to withstand so much pressure especially in the first half but have been disappointed with those two early second half tries. Without doubt Richard Westram was man of the match for sheer effort and forward drives and it exceptional he lasted as long as he did. The broken biscuit award goes to the unfortunate Danny Rice who had he kicked to touch instead of trying to jink the onrushing tackler would not now be in plaster (any way Danny hope you have speedy recovery ) .Saturday also saw the farewell of Sam Nicholls who is decamping to Nottingham due to work he says but those green tights in his kit bag are a bit suspicious Bon Voyage Sam.