Eccles senior colts had been looking forward to this game for quite some time. In fact all the way back to when they lost the reverse fixture earlier in the season to a heavy score. They all knew a few things had to be put straight. With Broughton Park sitting high in the league they also knew total commitment was required. It was therefore no surprise that we had a hard and grinding match to watch with very little quarter being given by either side.
For a rare occasion this season Eccles were able to field a playing squad of 18 men which gave the management the luxury of rotating a few players when the need arose, however grumbles were heard before the game about selection dilemmas, some people just don’t know a good thing when they see one.
The first period of the game started with both sides giving their all and bodies flying into tackles with reckless abandon. With the visitors on the attack the Eccles defence was once again driving them back and only a lack of concentration on the blind side of a ruck allowed a Broughton player to break through. Despite some desperate tackling on the line the try was scored.
The game continued in the same vein of total commitment being shown in the tackling department and it took a good sequence of passing and support for the visitors to register another try which was this time converted.
Not to be disheartened Eccles came back again and were pressing hard for the Broughton line, only being denied by the driving maul breaking up in general disorder and the visitors being allowed to take the ball and capitalise on a frantic kick which Eccles did not deal with. From the loose ball Broughton were able to run the full length of the pitch and score another converted try against the run of play. Such is life. As half time approached a testosterone fuelled fracas broke out which was only resolved by the referee showing a few yellow cards.
The second half was almost a continuation of the first with both sides giving all in the battle and I suppose it was appropriate on Remembrance Sunday, it also being the 11th of the 11th, that the pitch should start to resemble the Somme. With nothing being given away by either side and solid tackling constantly being made it all looked appropriate that the second half should end scoreless. However this was not to be as Brought were able to register one final converted try on the stroke of full time.
A hard bruising encounter with the lads having many a war wound to show off with pride. Despite this being the first time this season that the lads had failed to score it was none the less a total committed performance. One which they should not feel disheartened about. With quite a few away games coming up before the seasonal holidays a continued squad turn out is a must.