Eccles opened their season with a joint 1st/2nd XV friendly against Manchester, played in four 20 minute quarters. The first quarter was very closely contested with a momentary lapse in concentration the only difference in the scores, the Manchester 10 darting through some loose tackling to score under the posts, 7-0. The second quarter was a similar affair with some good stuff from both sides but it was Manchester who crossed the line again to extend their lead.
In the second half a lot of changes were made by the home team which caused some disruption. The speedy Manchester backs fell into their stride and scored three quick tries which extended their lead to 26-0. In the final quarter Eccles reverted to a more experienced side and again applied pressure to the Manchester line. With the last play of the game their efforts were rewarded when the props combined, Mark Greenhalgh putting Pete Cibula through a gap to score. Final score 26-7 to Manchester.
Both teams will have a lot to work on ahead of their first competitive games of the season next week, where Eccles travel to Fleetwood in the Lancashire Trophy.