Eccles 4th 0 v Broughton 1st 36 29/11/2015

The voyage of the Black Pig this league season has been something akin to the amateur sailor who some years ago set sail on the Thames to go round the world only in a fog only managing to circumnavigate  Canvey Island  .Due to conceded matches and consequent team expulsions only eight sides remained by early November so the all prior results were voided in division 5 east and new fixture list restarted with nine teams .The first match on resumption was surprise surprise conceded by Tydesley so this home fixture was the first actual contest in the new format however the fourths are still beset by shortage of crew members some required higher up some injured from previous campaigns and other either kidnapped by Barbary pirates or aliens .  Captain Paul Newton is almost permanently pressed ganged into service on Tank’s Viking longship  so variety of other ranks have had to sieze the spyglass and take command of the bridge this week it fell to Gary Dunham . On a wretched day (think Lerwick harbour in a westerly) with a few no shows he could only call 12 men a mixed bag of weather beaten seadogs and fresh faced cadets including debutants Jack Wallwork and Lewis Taylor . Adding to his woes the appointed referee failed to materialise so after much debating thanks to Nick from Broughton who refereed the first half and then played for Eccles and Andy Coop who did the second .Having one man advantage certainly gave the visitors the edge and they did most of the attacking but the fourths made them work hard to gain superiority .Two well taken tries saw Broughton ease in front whilst the fourths lost hooker Billy Morrison for a period who was hunting for new boot as the sole had departed from original one .Both sides played open rugby but in wet and slippery conditions thrills and spills in equal measure were inevitable .A further try saw Broughton 17-0 ahead at the interval and one early in the second threatened a swamping which did materialise due to a dogged home defence. Broughton did add two further tries before Eccles lost Kris Whitehead just back from a long lay with knee injury for the final 10 minutes and with the sky blacker than a coal miners clog the referee called time on a entertaining game for the conditions played in an excellent spirit with the visitors deserved winners. The spirit of the home could not be faulted so no Blind Pugh and Jolly Roger had a number of candidates but old of the th’owd uns got the nod Paul Thornley for backing up and driving runs in the forwards with two younger bilge rats Kris Whitehead and Billy Morrison sharing the Button Boy spot .