Sunday 29th Jan ’17
It was a slightly frosty and frozen surface that greeted the Under 11s on Sunday morning….. but the calibre of rugby and the commitment shown from both these sides soon created a thaw, but not for the feint of heart!
A last minute pitch inspection with plenty of toe stabbing and stud prodding into the icy ruts (always consummately professional!), declared that the boys could enjoy a competitive game and get on with some rugby!
Traditionally, this fixture has always been closely contested and this was to be no different, testing the patience of match referee Mr Reeveley to the last!
Eccles took the initiative by winning the toss and electing to kick.
Ollie continued his recent kicking form allowing the fast lads in the backs to press the opposition straight from the first whistle. With Heath and Lucas combining in the centre, there’s always a chance the ball will be retained by Eccles to launch an early attack.
Max and Shayne started just in front of the centre pairing to add the muscle-power into the rucks, and give Joe some initial ‘clean ball’ from the scrum half position to feed Scott and Johnnie out wide.
The early pressure resulted in an opportunity for Johnnie who hugged the touch-line before pressing his ignition button! 1-0 Eccles.
Max then took a blow after a fantastic tackle and was replaced by Matthew.
The momentum, again, wasn’t lost as Matthew looked to carry the attack forward with some good body angles into contact as well as showing some wonderful handling.
Ollie dropped into the fullbacks role he seems to enjoy, and it was from a turn-over ball following a BP attack, that Ollie fed Heath on the left. A strong surge had the ‘Park defenders needing to work to get back behind the ball, but the move saw the ball swept to the opposite wing where Scott was poised on his toes.
His recent form has been electrifying and there’s always a sniff of white-line fever when he gets his hands on the ball.
A drop of his shoulder saw him jink inside to create the gap to head for the line. 2-0 Eccles.
Broughton re-gathered after some stern words from coach Del.
They hit back in tremendous fashion with their own speedster up the right wing for a well deserved try.
At half time 2-1 and the game starting to develop into a decent contest!
Some changes were introduced with Alfie and Evan coming on with fresh legs.
It was a few minutes before the next score was recorded, but was it too early to be of significance?
Matthew once again slipped a dummy pass to make the room and canter forward. Jake backed him into the contact as the try line came closer. Matt just had the power to surge through the defenders to crash over the line.
Johnnie had some misfortune when a try looked on: a foot in touch and a dropped ball whilst trying to ground the pill saw Mr Reeveley rightly rule out any claim for a score.
Again, this gave the ‘Park side the momentum to counter attack to pull the score-board closer. They were also unfortunate with a ‘certain’ try themselves as the unlucky lad grounded the ball cleanly, but over the wrong line. Play on.
The intensity continued: Alfie showed some great soft hands out of contact. Lucas continually linked with Heath. Evan had to briefly deputise as a winger before slotting back in the middle where he revels. Ollie and Joe continue to read each others game to allow the wingers the freedom of open space. Shayne always looked a threat carrying the ball strongly.
Carter came on for Jake and created the next scoring chance for Matthew to claim his second.
A few minutes lack of concentration allowed ‘Park to apply the pressure and pull the scores level. 4-4
This was to be the pattern of play into the last few minutes, as every player looked deep into their energy banks to try and nail the winning try or create that moment of glory to take the plaudits.
However, a draw was a fair result on a day where in the minutes prior to kick-off, a game was looking doubtful.
Thanks to Dell form BP and good luck for the season.
Thanks to Vicky for the match stats!
Ollie. Lucas (Capt). Carter. Maxwell. Heath. Matthew. Jake. Johnnie. Shayne. Evan. Scott. Alfie. Joe. (& Liam)