Eccles 4th 8 v Tydesley 3rd 7 17/01/2015

On raw cold sleety miserable day the fourths squeaked a win in close dour niggly match when only the most hard of supporters stuck it out to the bitter end and they were either comatose with “excitement” or frozen to the spot. The visitors were on the scoreboard within the first 5 minutes as Tydesley forward ripped a ball and went through a gap in the maul bigger than greeted Moses at the parting of the Red Sea to saunter through untouched to touchdown with try being converted. This could have been the prelude to an exciting match unfortunately for the poor spectator the first half was as enthralling as being a lookout on a Arctic trawler in a force ten gale.True the conditions precluded fine ball skills but Eccles failed to muster a single scoring opportunity in that half and visitors fared little better. The players may have enjoyed the hurly burly but action seemed to bog down in midfield trench warfare with the ball a hot potato with Eccles guitly of realeasing the ball too early instead of creating some go forward momentum. The interval was reached without a further score but the second half was better with the intoduction of heavyweight centres Mark Plumbridge and Conner McKinney providing the impetus to drive forward . Eccles had the lion shares of territorial advantage but were frustrated by obdurate defence and seemed likely that the visitors would carry the day with that early score. However well in the half as pressure mounted a series of forays from a tap penalty saw Mckinney battled through the visitors defence to plunge over .Another attack saw Tydesley penalised under their own posts and Johnny Ward duly kicked the penalty for the fourths to a last lead the match. As the match crept on to dying minutes Eccles had an easy chance to kick a penalty and stretch the lead but a delay in finding a kicking saw Coops attempted to score a cheeky try without success and it was proved to be costly for the last play saw high drama as Tydesley were awarded a penalty far out but dead in line with posts .The kick fell just short but somebody had tried to charge it down so the referee ordered a retake closer to the posts but luckily the kicker made a hash of this easier attempt. So the fourths survived to record their third narrow win in row with second row Paddy Ward claiming the Jolly Roger pennant for his non stop robust drives forward reminiscent of a ice breaker in polar waters .Unfortunately his son Johnny let the family down bagged the Blind Pugh award for getting on the wrong side of the referee early doors thus being penalised for every offence whether he had committed it or not .