Eccles 4th 12 v Old Aldwinians 4th 32 19/09/2015

The first league match at Gorton Street of the season provided no home comforts for the fourth team

as requirements for senior teams meant only eleven players again with all that it entails but once more the
opposition showed  sporting spirit by lending players to make up the numbers..
The opening skirmishes were fairly even before caught the home defence napping with quickly taken tap
penalty to score under the posts . Eccles had a chance to reply after a long kick and chase but the ball was scrambled away metres from Aldwinians line unfortunately resulting in a broken hand to the visitors fullback.
An attempted clearance kick close to the home line went horribly  wrong resulting in second try for Aldwinians.
A third try was averted when the visitors left wing was tackled into touch by Nathan Cooper with twenty metres of clear field ahead. The match then descended into scrappy affair with a lot of scrabbling about in the rucks and a fair number of mistakes form both sides.  A period of home pressure resulted in a penalty award for offside which Johnny Ward knocked over . A siege of the home line was well resisted to leave Eccles  satisfied to be only 12-3 down at the interval.
The second half started well with an event  last seen when Cook was travelling the seven seas a fourth team drop goal this executed to perfection from 30 metres by stand off Ward. Things went a little off line as a visitors

attack broke with a knock on which hit an Eccles player and the visitors still got the line out which the fourths manage to steal but knock on themselves .The resultant scrum saw the Aldwinians no 8 pick up and charge in at the corner for try. Injury was added to insult  as Gary Dunham back making a rare appearance and usually a centre and pressed into service at no 8 left the field having caught a stud to the head hand pressed to wound (looked like the red hand of Ulster) for an appointment with stitches . Scrum half Sam Delaney standing in as skipper stemmed an attack form a tap penalty with a fine tackle before a long break by Ward which just failed to add a try with final pass going to ground. Ward then narrowed the arrears with a penalty before a good break by Joel Bruton was stopped just 15 metres short of the line .This was a short reprieve for the visitors as another transgression as Ward slotted over histhird penalty to narrow the deficit to 12-17 ..The comeback suffered a set back as Aldwinians managed to slip in between the home defensive line to score .As Eccles chased the game into the last 10 minutes Bruton got a yellow card (he was rathered miffed ) and then a quickly taken 22 drop out

went awry as the visitors snaffled the ball to score a try in the corner. Another fresh air clearance in the last minute saw Aldwinians add gloss to their result with an easy try. A fine effort in the circumstances by the  team which had Paul White and Ricky Ackrill  making debuts and more structured display than last week led
by the skipper abetted by his dad Nick first from the touchline and as replacement for Dunham.
The Jolly Roger Pennant went to Ward not only for his points but his work for his work keeping the backs ticking in tandem with scrum half and stand skipper Sam Delaney this weeks Button Boy who seem to relish the role. Blind Pugh went to Ricky Ackrill (given reluctantly for one debut )but to paraphrase Oscar Wilde ” one air shot is etc” and it is part of the voyage to take the Michael against ones shipmates but be assured the ancient mariner does it all in jest as we have all been there