Sunday 5th Feb 2017
Eccles welcomed Orrell on Sunday in near perfect playing conditions!
With Orrell short on a few of their regular players, thanks to them for sending a team and honouring the fixture.
In the opening exchanges, the Eccles side looked to make an early impression on the score board as they took advantage of a good kick-off from Ollie. Joe and Adam put their pace to good use by applying pressure to the ball receiver, forcing the first handling error as the Eccles pack unit of Max, Matthew and Jack set up the counter ruck. From the base of the break down, Joe spun the ball out to Lucas who linked well with Ollie in support. Ollie headed forwards to draw the defender before timing his pass perfectly to Adam. With 1 -v- 1, Adam always looks like a sure bet as he ran off his toes to head for the first try. 1-0 Eccles. Evan added his strength up the middle to compliment Heath and Lucas with his strong ball carrying.
From the restart, Jack headed the charge to apply the pressure again. A great strong body angle into contact kept the Orrell attackers on the back foot to starve their wingers of any real possession. A lose pass saw Heath pick up and feed Max who took route one! 2-0 Eccles and the omens didn’t look good for the visitors.
The game plan was starting to work now, as Eccles looked to put some good phases of ball handling into practice. Ollie controlled the attacks from the fullbacks position as Heath and Lucas formed a delightful combination in the centres. Scott, on the other wing, continues to light up the games as he jinks one way then dips the other.
Matthew then continued with his recent impressive form to nail a quick third try.
So, the pattern continued with limited resistance though Orrell claimed a well deserved try of their own before Max and Ollie added further tries as half time loomed.
The second period saw a complete change around as Eccles utilised their quantity and quality of replacements.
Carter and Jake occupied the centres as the pack of Shayne, Finn and Jack looked to provide the platform to trigger the attacks.
However, Orrell finally launched their own quick lads to good effect. A good try from their winger saw him speed down the right before stepping off his outside foot to create his opportunity.
Carter knew he had to step the intensity into contact to ease the pressure on the Eccles defence. Johnny took a heavy knock for Ollie to come back on as a replacement.
Cameron carried really well and looked to create gaps where he could. Finn held securely in the middle of the park as Jake slipped the ball to Fletcher on the right wing.
Despite a tremendous run, the Orrell winger just did enough to bundle Fletcher into touch. From the restart, the ball went up the middle with Orrell sensing a comeback.
Matthew came back on as an injury replacement for Carter who took a whack on the bridge of his nose!
With Ethan on the wing, the threat is always prominent and try scoring opportunities are created from very little. The ball just couldn’t be slipped to him however.
Shayne then went on the attack as Lucas supported him into the breakdown. Jake then shipped it to Matthew: with still a lot to do, he carried the pill in both hands to swerve this way then that. His hard work was rewarded with a great try to seal the game with minutes left.
The score finished 8-7 to Eccles, but a real game of two halves and great entertainment for those watching.
Credit to Orrell coach Richard and his team who never gave up despite them having so many players unavailable.
The game was played in tremendous spirits and commitment.
At this point, I’d like to take a moment to pass on our good luck and gratitude to two players who have recently left us: Ethan, who’s pace constantly surprised opponents and won us games against the run of play, is dedicating his sporting endeavours to cross-country running.
Danniel is also moving onto new ventures and will be missed in his role at scrum half. With his elusive ability to look as though he was running on water despite the heavy surfaces, he gave the team the scoring opportunities to command games.
Good luck to both boys who will always be welcomed back.
Thanks to Chris for refereeing the game and keeping order!
Thanks to Vicky for the match stats (stops me using poetic licence!)
- No training this Weds 08th Feb.
- This has been reallocated to SUNDAY 12th Feb: 10.15am
ECCLES SQUAD: Lucas (Capt). Ollie. Matthew. Max. Evan. Johnny. Scott. Shayne. Ethan. Joe. Jake. Fletcher. Cameron. Heath. Jack. Finn. Carter. Adam.