Eccles under 10’s ended up with a ‘surprise’ fixture against Bolton on Sunday.
I say surprise as; a) we thought we were training = most of the boys not having their match shirts! b) the weather was set for traditional training ‘Eccles style’ and c) the local dog walkers of Patricroft and Brookhouse assumed we no longer used the playing surface under the bridge for kids rugby – well done.
So after some apologies to the Bolton coaches for confusion and incompetence, we finally got down to playing a game. Here you go, and the match stats are from Vicky and James:
Eccles Squad: Danniel. Ollie. Ethan. Johnny. Scott. Adam P (Pikey). Maxwell. Sohan. Carter. Evan. Shayne. Matthew. Adam C. Finn M. Joe. Finn F. Jack.
Owing to the local canine fertiliser occupying the playing area, the boys played 8-v-8 on a good long pitch suitable for the playing style both of these teams. We also enjoyed the use of a neutral referee in first team regular, Tom Dutton. With Maxwell and the returning Sohan looking to form a bedrock in the middle, Danniel was presented with some good early clean possession to feed the wingers.
Eccles’ play so far this season has been to try and move the ball wide to make the gaps in defence. Pikey got his hands on the ball to set off up the wing, but was held up by a good Bolton tackle. He managed to retain possession just long enough for it to be recycled for Scott to take a great angle to the corner. 1-0 Eccles. With some pace in the ranks, Eccles realised their game plan now, and some tremendous handling saw Ethan scorch through the defence to compliment a lovely move started by Johnny deep in his own half.
Bolton re-grouped and a fine powerful run saw them claim their first score.
Maxwell then took the ball from Danniel at the re-start to charge into the gap. Ollie threw a neat pass inside for Scott who managed to pop the ball out of contact to Danniel. Danniel saw the gap and his gliding feet did the rest for him to score in the corner. The screw was turned a bit tighter to put a real clamp on the game as Pikey got his second followed by Ollie just before the half time turn-around. 5-2 Eccles.
With a completely different team to bring on, it was testament to the boys that the playing style we’ve been practicing in training continued flawlessly. With Matthew and Jack up the middle, Carter played just behind the pair of them to shore up any defensive holes with some fantastic tackling and great sweeping up of loose ball. Joe, in his first Eccles game, dropped in at scrum half, but it was a certain try from the big Bolton attacker that Joe prevented which would provide the talking point.
The loose ball was delivered to Finn F on his wing who sensed an opportunity to launch from deep.
This only encouraged the Eccles boys to dig in further as Jack, playing against his home town, cut a superb angle to make space and claim his first of two on the day. Bolton replied after some great continuous phases of play, but the deepest cut came when Matt read the Bolton attack. Finn M enjoyed some great work in the contact area with his deceptive pop passes bringing his runners onto the ball, and Adam C then found himself in the heart of the attack to deploy his own pop up pass for Jack on the burst. Evan played in an unorthodox role for him on the wing, but did superbly well and Shayne showed his usual safe hands with his customary strong ball carrying.
Bolton were banging on the door just short of the Eccles line, but as the ball was shipped back inside, Matt read it to perfection to intercept and gallop the length of the field. Jack, fittingly, then capped a great display with a further score.
All credit to Bolton and their boys who provided the watching parents something to take their minds off the threatening conditions. Eccles handed Joe his debut and also saw the return of two established boys.
A real good physical battle with some fantastic ball skills which suited both teams!
Thanks to Vicky and James for the stats, and a special thanks to young Dutty for the job on the whistle.
Final score 9-4 Eccles.
Comedy Gem of the day: Where do we start ….. if there’s anything funny about the ‘Patricroft Fertiliser’, I hope it works, the mushrooms should be ready by next week if Ted doesn’t take his new mower to it!
Training this Weds 18th Nov. 6.30pm. All welcome including new comers to the club and the sport!