Eccles U15’s peak away at Buxton

Little did we know that last weeks win over Altrincham Kersal would be both Brom’s managerial debut and swan song as we welcome back the regular dynamic coaching duo of Kevin & Perry James for our road-trip across the Cat & Fiddle to Buxton RFC, deep in the heart of the Peak District.

Buxton play at Sunnyfields which I believe was named to remember the 18th August 1976 which was the day that it was sunny there.

The weather in Buxton was wet and cold but once they got the bacon & brews functioning the welcome was warm and friendly.

Buxton are in the position Eccles were a season and half ago in that they could only muster a dozen players so the trio of Chea, Kieron and Oliver volunteered to represent our hosts for the first half; for the second half we offered up Joe, Alex H, Matt W and later on Albert who filled in for an injured Buxton player

Buxton got the game started and were immediately caught napping by some fine Eccles passing which saw Cameron break forward and release Matt W but the move was  curtailed as Cameron’s pass was deemed forward. It wasn’t long though before Eccles found themselves ahead when Matt W ripped the ball from the Buxton forward and found Josh with a neat pass, Josh showed good movement and fleet footwork to score right beneath the posts. Matt W converted with ease.

0 – 7

Buxton restart with a high and long kick which Joe R juggles before finally bringing the ball under control and passing to Matt W who makes good ground before finding Ed on the overlap. Ed breaks wide and makes a good 60m before being tackled.

It’s all Eccles at this point with Jack, Cameron, Ed and Brad all making ground with penetrative runs at the Buxton lines.

A fantastic run and offload by Dan G to Ellis and Josh G finds himself in space, he uses his strength to crash through and score Eccles second try of the day which Matt W duly converts

0 – 14

Eccles are well on top now in terms of scoreline, possession and play. Buxton are pressed back inside their own 22 but have the scrum. The ball is sent in and almost goes straight through the tunnel. In an attempt to hook the ball back the Buxton flanker kicks the ball out and Joe R is first to react, pouncing in the loose ball and diving over the try line leaving Matt W another simple conversion

0 – 21

From the restart Josh collects the high ball superbly and releases Ed who makes a powerful left to right run towards the corner, he holds off a last gasp tackle from the Buxton full back and scores Eccles fourth try inside 25 minutes. Matt W converts to leave Buxton trailing by 28 points

0 – 28

Eccles are well ahead but start to lose their composure, discipline and sense of humility as they give away a series of unnecessary penalties and start to get lippy with the opposition. Things are calmed down by todays referee who calls the Eccles captain over for a ‘save your breath to cool your porridge’ chat.

The half comes to a close with Eccles deservedly well ahead.

Half Time 0 – 28

The Eccles lads jogged in to the coaches full of adrenaline and with a swagger of impending victory but they were soon brought down to earth by coach James who whipped out the Babyliss Turbo 2200 from the inside pocket of his Arsene Wenger duvet coat and blew away a few cobwebs of attitude that the lads need to save for the appropriate opponents.

Matt W, Joe R and Alex H replace the Eccles volunteers playing for our hosts for the second half – how very different to the occasions in the past where Eccles have asked to borrow players. Coaches Kevin & James should feel very self righteous at this point but as Kevin pointed out, theres nothing to be gained by saying no or offering up unsuitable players.

Eccles start the second half well and have Buxton on the back foot straight away. Albert makes his presence felt with a weaving run through the Buxton defence to score Eccles fifth try of the day which Cameron superbly converted – just to keep Matt W on his toes

0 – 35

Buxton restart with a kick from Matt W. Eccles are under pressure for the first time as Buxton press for a score. The ball is lost and the Buxton centre breaks forward before finding Matt W who makes one of his powerful runs to open up his Buxton account right in the corner. The weather and distance prevented him extending his five to seven but Buxton were off the mark.

5 – 35

Eccles show some of their finest rugby as the ball gets passed from man to man with power and accuracy as Eccles push Buxton further and further towards their own try line. Amazing work from Brad P and Dan G sees the ball released to Matt L who holds off his man before offloading to Archie who makes a bid for the try line only to be thwarted just a few metres short. Eccles surrender possession of the ball and Buxton clear with a huge kick which Brad P collects in the old bread basket. He races forward gaining 30 metres before being stopped, Cameron is first to support Brad, he receives the pass and charges towards the corner to score Eccles second try of the half. Cameron again takes the kick but like Matt W earlier, finds the distance, angle and weather just too difficult.

5 – 40

Eccles look the more hungry of the two sides and the depth of squad is allowing Coaches Kevin & James to keep the 15 on the pitch fresh with substitutions; Buxton however are on the bare 15 including the Eccles volunteers and fatigue is starting to show for these lads. Eccles are again on the attack with Albert going on yet another mazy run before releasing Ellis P to go over for his first try of the day. It was pointed out that Albert T looked more like Bruno T as he skipped his way through his Strictly routine

5 – 47

An injury to one of the Buxton lads sees Albert don the red, black and gold for the remainder of the second half which was great for the Eccles players who love being on the receiving end of one of Alberts crunching tackles.

Buxton get the game restarted with a long bobbling kick which sees Max R scampering back unsupported, as he collects he is immediately floored by Matt W and Joe R who had chased the ball down. Eccles concede a penalty which Matt W takes quickly and runs the ball in before passing to Alex H who is having as outstanding a game for Buxton in the second half as he had had for Eccles in the first. Alex collects from Matt and drives over the Eccles try line and leave Matt a simple conversion

12 – 47

Buxton keep pressing and their hard work pays off with a final try scored by their impressive number 15 right in the corner with the last play of the match. He then converts from a very tight angle to bring the game to a close with Eccles ahead by 28 points

Full Time 19 – 47

Like last weeks fixture against Altrincham Kersal, this was a terrific game to watch with both teams playing great rugby. Eccles convincing winners of the first half and the second seemed to be the same however both teams racked up 19 points during the second period

Eccles definitely had the best of the first 25 minutes with Buxton struggling to cope with our speed, power and superior rugby. Lapses in discipline allowed Buxton to get a grip on the game towards the end of the first half but Eccles picked up the pace again at the start of the second. Buxton made good use of the Eccles volunteers to run in 19 points in the second half.

Keep those passports and sat nav’s handy as we have a Blacksticks fixture away at Vale of Lune next week. We haven’t played Vale of Lune before but I suspect the 22 lads selected will need to be at their very best and hopefully they’ll be supported by those lads who don’t make the final 22 selection on this occasion.

Eccles U15’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad (22 strong)

Cameron B, Chea C, Dan G, Joshua G, Ed H, Alex H, Matthew L, Brad P, Ellis P, Joe R, Max R, David S, Rob S, Alex T, Albert T, Matt W (Capt), Jack W, James W, Oliver W, Archie, Shea, Kieron

Injured

Dan Gogh, Adam A, Robert J, Harry C, James F

Half Time Score 0 – 28

Full Time Score 19 – 47

Eccles Men of the Match

Players Choice – Cameron

Coach Choice – Archie

Opposing Coaches Choice – Josh

Parents Choice – Josh (Eccles), Alex H and Matt W tied (Eccles Volunteers)

Eccles Try Scorers – Josh G x2, Joe R, Ed H, Albert T, Cameron B, Ellis P

Eccles Conversions – Matt W 4 from 4, Cameron B 2 from 2

Eccles Volunteers Try Scorers – Alex H, Matt W

Eccles Volunteers Conversions – Matt W

Notable Mentions

A minutes silence prior to kick off was observed by the players, coaches and referee to remember those who lost their lives during the first world war.

Well done to the Eccles Volunteers – Oliver W, Kieron, Chea C, Matt W, Joe R, Alex H, Albert T

Once again despite injury Dan Gogh turned up to support his team mates, collect the washing, run the line etc. Well done Dan you are a credit to yourself and the club.

Alex H picked up where he left off last week by bringing his running legs today – another great game Alex.

The Eccles lads scored nine tries today (7 for Eccles and 2 for Buxton) with 8 different try scorers

Without exception all the lads put in a shift and were very much deserving of the win. Many thanks to the players, coaches and parents of Buxton RFC for todays game; clearly a good rugby side with the right attitude towards the game

The Eccles forwards played a great game today but Dan G, Max R, Jack W, Brad P and the other backs were quick to support, something that will be needed again next week.

Well done to Josh who despite a knock on the head from Buxton’s Alex H managed to secure victory in the Down a Dirty Pint competition

The Buxton ground staff deserve a mention for providing a playable pitch despite the wild weather

Naughty Step

That button on Alex H’s Buxton top had him baffled for quite a while. I hope you’ve not taken GCSE Getting Dressed

I’m certain I have missed someone off the team sheet, if anyone spots who it is let me know so I can update

Chris Lee for wearing a jacket

Me for forgetting my wallet and having to rely on John Williams for beer tokens, meal tickets and also for a lift there and back.

John Williams for ignoring the sat nav

Me for mistaking Josh G for Matt W – they look sooo similar though!

And Finally – For those interested in coach James’ warm up’s …..

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