SUNDAY 19TH MARCH
And again…. we ventured beyond the ‘Patricroft Ridge’ into the bleak wilderness beyond the railway tunnel! Why is the weather ALWAYS dire around there?!!
Ok, no more excuses:
Eccles u11s took on a ‘double header’ as they entertained AOM and Bolton.
Up first were AOM: Lucas elected to KO into the wind to test out the AOM defence from the opening whistle. With more or less a full squad to select from (just Heath and both Finns unavailable), the balance on paper looked to favour the Gorton St boys. Ollie sent the ball high as Fletcher, Joe and Jake and put the chase on to apply some early pressure.
With Max, Evan and Shayne forming the pack just in front of Matthew and Lucas, the game plan was always going to be a little tricky in the squall!
However, a bit of traditional Eccles Sunday weather wouldn’t provide much in the way of a problem as the boys linked early putting some great passing moves together.
Ollie had to spin on his heals as the wind took the ball beyond where he expected it to land….. the ball was snapped up as Ollie hit the contact for Matthew to ruck over.
Jake continues his recent good form with some real good body angles to secure the ball, as Evan and Shayne combined to present a tight pairing into the contact area.
Joe then spun it out to the left for Capt Lucas to take it on the run. As the AOM defender narrowed the space for Lucas, he slipped the ball neatly to Fletcher who launched up the wing.
Only a smart tackle taking Fletcher into touch saved the first try.
From the restart, Max put a tremendous tackle in causing the AOM centre to lose possession. Joe again was then continued the counter attack for Max to come in on a second wave to nail the first score. Max then made way for Jack after taking a knock to the leg.
So, with the initial momentum going to Eccles, the appetite for more scores drove the boys on to an expansive game. Ollie then grabbed a try but only after Jack secured a well deserved score of his own.
AOM then pulled one back after a great chase from their winger to leave the first game 3-1 Eccles.
The weather dictated that we conduct the games in 10 minute sessions, so up next was Bolton.
Eccles introduced a complete change on the pitch as on came Cameron, Alfie, Scott, Carter, Johnnie, and Adam.
Matthew slotted in as scrum half as Joe took a breather, and Carter dropped in as full back.
The ball was fed out to Scott for his first touch. With a familiar shimmy of his hips, he made a neat hole to drift through. Adam linked well to continue the move but the Bolton defence were solid on this occasion.
From deep in their own half, they played their way up through the middle, largely due to some charitable tackling but none the less, they deserved the try.
From the restart, Matthew took a fine catch to hit straight back at the Bolton boys.
A clever dummy saw him head up the centre to claim an instant response 1-1
Cameron was then unlucky not to claim his first Eccles try after some good footwork and a great running line from Alfie.
As the clock ran on, Johnnie sensed the opportunity to seal the game from his favoured left wing. With the try line still some way off, Carter made the clean ruck ball for Joe to slip it to Johnnie. W fine line of running saw him claim the second win on the day for Eccles.
Two more games against the same opposition saw a clean sweep for the Eccles lads. All played in great spirits despite some torrid weather.
They really are gelling as a complete squad, and their enthusiasm is proving infectious in their development. As we head into the last few games of the current season, a Welsh tour and a Tournament at Preston Grass Hoppers will round-off a great season for the boys.
Lucas (Capt), Alfie, Ollie, Shayne, Evan, Matthew, Scott, Jake, Matthew, Adam, Cameron, Johnnie, Jack, Maxwell, Fletcher, Carter, Joe, (and Liam!)
Thanks to Chris on the whistle for his patience and Vicky for the match stats…. as always, it doesn’t happen without the help of all concerned.
Training this Weds 22nd March: 6.30pm NEW PLAYERS ALWAYS WELCOME…. NO EXPERIENCE NECESARRY.