Eccles 4th 35 v Altrincham Kersal 4th 33

The fourths resumed league action after the festive period and seemed in gifting mood which nearly cost them victory in fortuitous narrow win in a high scoring match .It may have been a “thriller” scorewise but to call it an error strewn match was an understatement with any onlooker who blinked would struggling to guess what had transpired .Eccles had a warning from the first attack as Kersal burst through middle and broke the last tackle only to lose the ball but then had the best chances only to throw up the first of the afternoons presents with long kick trying to be ushered into touch by Simon Rogers (more pantomime than good shepherd thus earning him the Blind Pugh award) and being picked up by the Kersal winger who scooted away for a try. Eccles immediately hit back with solid play and set up the chance for Captain Chaos hinself to plunge over in the corner for a try. No sooner had the fourths closed the gap than they gifted away a try as poor defence normally so solid parted like the waves. Once more the fourths rallied back a tap penalty was worked quickly across the pitch and winger Nate Cooper sped away to score in the corner.However the largesse continued a ball needlessly kicked away was gathered by Kersal who burst through the palm fronds of attempted tackles to score and lead 19-10 at the interval. The second half started well with great break from Riddick Manaye which eventually saw Johnny Ward go under the posts to score and then convert. The fourths then got into the lead for the first time in the match as the ball was nicely worked from a ruck for a well taken blind side try by prop Jacob (Tank) Henderson. True to form the restart was kicked short regathered as Eccles were napping fed wide for touchdown and advantage Kersal once more. A penalty from Ward reduced the arrears and the lead reagained with neat move ending with Matthew Pass dancing in for a try .Christmas spirit was still there as a promising Eccles move
was curtailed by a wretched pass which a siezed on by the Kersal centre who raced from his own half to score. Dramactically in the last play of the match mounting pressure told with prop Andy Coop plunging over to score to be the hero of the hour to snatch an unlikely victory.A strange game it was frantic ,frenetic unstructured with flashes of decent play with the ball seemingly
having a life of it own causing the opposing coaches to fits of apoplexy .Not one of fourths better displays the normally solid defence was at sea at times and the execution hurried but the spirit held and the sheer dogged determination shone through.
Tries were shared equally between the dreadnoughts and the corvettes but one of the former back row Sean McGrath took the Jolly Roger pennant personifying was what good about the fourths performance.