Following last week’s shortage of players, this week Eccles were able to field a full complement of 15 men plus one late comer onto the bench from the Juniors.
The start to the game could not have been worse for Eccles as a succession of needless penalties saw them rooted to their own try line from which the visitors took advantage and went over for a converted try. Whereas the first few minutes were poor from Eccles the next few were beyond reproach as Eccles took the game straight back to Fleetwood and a driving No8 pickup by Reese James saw him drive just short of the try line, only being stopped by an infringement by the visitors. Luke Cullen then took a quick tap and dived over almost unopposed. The conversion attempt struck the post and went wide.
The game was now nicely balanced with both sides making inroads but failing to score. Then 10minutes before the half time whistle a front row altercation resulted in two players from Eccles and one from Fleetwood being shown a yellow card. This gave the visitors a numerical advantage which they took well and from a 5 meter scrum the scrum half dived over to take the half time score to 5 – 12.
With only a 7 point lead Fleetwood were never comfortable in the second half and a number of attempts were made on their line. Twice Eccles thought they had scored but twice they were denied by the referee for technical infringements. Namely running into their own players before they had scored. But it was not all Eccles as Fleetwood made a number of attempts of their own with only some last ditch defending saving the day. During one such episode Matt Parkinson decided to place his head between a Fleetwood boot and the ball. This left the young lad somewhat dazed and confused and so he was replaced by our own member of the US cavalry, aka Shaun Baines. I’ll have to get that lad a yellow ribbon so he can give it to his true love.
So despite much effort from both sides the game ended with no addition to the score in the second half and Eccles had to endure an unlucky defeat.
The positives; a full side and more to come back, new and returning faces which is always good to see, and everyone making an effort for the team cause.
After the game there was much discussion over the odd beer with Harry, remember his name now Billy, the referee regarding the two disallowed tries. Then a propping master class from the same Harry for young Danny Mac.
Well done to all.