It’s not often teams from lancashire across the Pennines into Yorkshire and come back victorious but this Sunday was an exception.
Eccles U18s girls travelled to West Park Leeds with 11 fit players on a lovely sunny day and gave a master class in open free flowing rugby despite a howling wind that blew from one end of the pitch to the other.
Eccles played into the wind first half and scored their first try through Captain Purcell within a matter of minutes converted by Wallace. The west Park girls were not impressed and came back with vengeance scoring twice taking the score to 12-7.
Both teams showed great spirit and determination with excellent tackling and competition was fierce at the breakdown, Eccles captain Purcell showing the way with turnovers.
West Park continued to pour on the pressure and it was only a matter of time before they scored again. At this point Eccles realised they needed to close the gap before half time so that they might take advantage of the wind in the second half.
Eccles interplay between forwards and back was exceptional and finally Eccles managed to break through and close the gap through tries by scrum half Price and centre Bawden making the score at half time 19-17 in favour of the Yorkshire outfit.
Eccles turned round with the wind at their backs and put the west park girls under pressure from the very beginning holly brand playing on the wing rounded of an excellent personal performance with a try in the corner, followed shortly afterwards by centre Bawden with her second try of the game.
Eccles forwards started to get on top and dominated the scrum much to the delight of the coach, Harper, Blade and Roden in the front row causing all sorts of problems for the west park front row. Roden taking at least 6 against the head, which put scrum half Price on the front foot tormenting the west park girls with breaking runs all game.
Christian was head and shoulders in the lineout along with Siddall who came off the bench both players giving solid performances and improving with every game.
West Park were determined to spoil the party and threw everything at the eccles girls but Wallace who was awesome in defence having just come back from long term concussion was not letting anything through.
Carlton who was struggling with injury throughout the game was determined to stay on the pitch and produced a number of penetrating runs one of which lead to Harper AKA Jonah Lomu, charging from the half way with west park girls hanging off her before she crashed over to mark her player of the game performance.
Price scored her second of the day and centre Bawden finished the game with a personal total of 4 tries, Wallace converting a very respectable 6 from 9 attempts.
despite the final score line 19-57 in favour of Eccles, the game was a very close affair as the West Park never let their heads go down and were a credit to their club and coach.
Next game is at home to Cockermouth on Sunday 10th January 2016.