The U10s travelled to Heaton Moor for their second game of the season, hoping to build on their winning start against Sedgley. In the opening minutes, Eccles started fantastically well, were very purposeful and direct and kept the ball brilliantly. George was clearly pumped up for the game very early on and took a captain’s role in leading and directing the team. Eccles’ strong start was rewarded with an early lead, when Duncan finished off an excellent move to place the ball over the line.
The hosts came back strongly in search of an equalizing try, but were denied through some great Eccles defending. However, Heaton were not to be denied and levelled the scores with a well worked try. Shortly after, Heaton took the lead 10-5, leaving Eccles shell-shocked after such a great opening 10 minutes. The scores were almost level when Eccles were awarded a penalty, the ball eventually made its way through to Henry who was denied an equalizing score after a great run. However, the scores were soon level after some great teamwork, driving forwards from the scrum, Henry scrambling the ball over the line.
In a game that twisted one way and then the other, Heaton again took the lead – an error in the Eccles defence saw the boys driving back towards their own line – possession was then lost and Heaton took advantage to drop on the loose ball. If there is one strength that the U10s have developed over time, it’s their determination, spirit and fight. Will R was working extremely hard and was tenacious in the tackle. His energy and wilfulness, as the rain started to fall harder (and colder), seemed to urge the boys to step up a level, and all of a sudden, the scores were level again at 15-15, Harry this time finishing off a great Eccles move.
The game was played over four quarters, due to the number of Heaton players available, and Heaton were able to freshen things up at will. However, with only a handful of subs at their disposable, Eccles seemed the livelier of the two teams as the game entered its third quarter. There were some excellent runs from Harry and Henry, and Finley was starting to impose himself more on the game as he started to see more of the ball. George than put Eccles in for the first time since the opening try, and he duly celebrated with a kung-fu kick and punch to the air!
Heaton came back at Eccles and were almost level again but for Finley’s try saving tackle after a clear run at the Eccles line by one of the Heaton forwards. Eccles then increased their lead to 25-15 – after a great run from Will B, and then from Finley, Will B took the ball to score and put Eccles firmly in control of the game. After having played for over an hour, Eccles legs were starting to tire as the game entered its final quarter. Eccles gave the ball away on their own line to allow Heaton to reduce the deficit and set up the game for a nervy final few minutes. A powerful run from Connor after some good work from Will R almost restored Eccles’ ten point lead.
Then with just seconds remaining, Heaton equalled the scores after the referee awarded a hotly disputed try (Eccles claimed that the ball was dropped and not placed over the line). At the final whistle, the Heaton players cheered as if they had won the game, which is testament to the way in which Eccles had played and dominated the match and had been unfortunate not to win. A great performance again from Eccles, maintaining their unbeaten start to the season. The Eccles Man of the Match was awarded by Heaton Moor to Will R.
Result: Heaton Moor 25 – 25 Eccles
Match squad: Joe, George, Jake, Will B, Will R, Finley, Harry, Luke H, Luke F, Connor, Henry, Duncan.