Eccles took the long trip to Blackburn on a beautiful, sunny but frosty morning defending an unbeaten start to the season.
Before the game with Blackburn, the boys were asked to play another game against Vale of Lune, who were also guests at the club that day.
The game against Vale started well, with Eccles showing a good degree of determination. However, Vale were armed with some physically strong and pacey players and proved too much for the effort and commitment of Eccles. Vale scored 3 good tries in the first half, which owed much to the overbearing presence of the Vale ‘tank’, a stock and speedy forward who played the Eccles defence skilfully.
Eccles came out at the start of the second half and quickly put down their own marker on the game. Finley ran the ball out of defence, with Joe following in support. When Finley was superbly tackled 10 yards from the line, Joe picked up possession and raced over the line to score his first try of the season.
Despite the efforts of a hard working Eccles team, too many tackles were being missed, and Vale took control, with further tries from ‘Tank’ to extend the score to 6 tries to 1.
At that point, there was a pause in the game due to an injury to Duncan, taking a cut to his eye after bravely sticking his head in where it hurts. Duncan was unable to play any further part in the match, and we hope he will be able to return to training next week.
Result: Vale of Lune 30 – 5 Eccles
The game against Blackburn started just 5 minutes after the end of the earlier match with Vale. Like Vale, Blackburn had some physically strong and speedy players, with one player in particular running up and down like Billy Whizz. It was he who opened the scoring in the opening 5 minutes.
Eccles continued to push and to work hard to find a way through. Will R was tackling hard and chasing the Blackburn players down like a tiger, George was leading from the front, and Finley and Will B were doing their best to run the ball down the flanks using their speed and agility.
Joe had a great run from defence, running the ball half way up the pitch before executing a great pass to Will R, with the two of them linking up well throughout the match.
Against the run of play, Blackburn extended their lead, but Eccles quickly pulled one back after another good run from Joe – Will R took possession after Joe was tackled and dived over the line to secure a great try for Eccles.
Eccles were however guilty of missing too many tackles and, at times, the Blackburn boys ripped through the Eccles back line too easily. They scored again to extend their lead to three tries to one. Just before half time, Eccles were unlucky not to claw their way back into the game again, when a fine run from Will B was blocked just yards from the line.
Blackburn started the second half well, but Eccles will be disappointed with the tackles they failed to make. Three further tries for Blackburn in the second half put the hosts out of sight. However, Eccles heads did not drop, and they managed to score again, with Joe executing a fine pass out to Finley who ran with great speed and strength to see off the chasing pack to land his try and bring the score back to six tries to 2.
Blackburn had the final say, with a seventh try of the match. The difference between the two sides had been tackling – those that had been made by Blackburn and those missed by Eccles. Three or four of the Blackburn boys had been combining really well to cut through the Eccles backline. Will B and Will R had been combining really well together, with Will R working incredibly hard, Will B and Finley showing great speed on the wing, and some great driving runs from Joe, Connor and George.
Will R was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match for Eccles for his hard work, commitment and courage. It’s back to the training ground next week lads to work on that tackling!
Result: Blackburn 35 – 10 Eccles
Match squad: Joe, George, Jake, Will B, Will R, Finley, Harry, Harvey, Luke F, Connor, Duncan, Oliver.