Eccles U9s 5 – 6 Bolton U9s

Eccles Squad; Mathew. Ollie. Ethan. Seb. Danniel. Alfie. Jack. Maxwell. Bailey. Ben. Jonnie.

Was it the change in the weather, or a change in the preparation and approach from the boys this weekend? Either way, whatever happened produced one of the best games the U9s have been involved with this season!

Both teams showed true courage and committment in this game and played out in a tremendous spirit that is quickly – and rightly – becomming the trade mark of this U9s squad.

Jack was made Captain for the day, and fittingly so against his home town side. This energised him into raising his game to new levels for his team mates to follow. Time and again, he stopped the Bolton attackers up the middle, got back to his feet swiftly and readied himself again for the next hit! Ollie played right on Jacks shoulder and supported the contact area to secure ball in the Eccles attack, tackled like a demon, wrapping the legs up in defending. The boys maintained their shape with Jonnie, Ethan and Ben mixing the game up to provide attacking options across the back line.

With 10 minutes gone and no score, both teams locked-on in the tackle zone but it was the combination of Mathew and Maxwell, sucking in the Bolton defence, that saw Ethan bag his first of two. Bolton then replied with the equaliser following some tremendous pressure from their Captain, Louie, as he put his winger away neatly in the corner. Maxwell showed what lovely soft hands he has, as he off-loaded out of the ‘back-door’ despite the attention of two tacklers! Ethan and Seb switched wings which saw Ethan exploit the space only he does so well, in a straight foot race from just inside the Eccles half, to the Bolton try line. 2-1 Eccles.

Danniel and Alfie occupied the spot just behind our big hitters, and always looked to lauch their team mates into attack with some great passes. Maxwell took an angle towards the right wing, riding out two defenders to crash over the line in the corner. Unfortunately for him, the ‘sharp-eyed refferee’ pulled him back after a foot into touch! Bolton then desevedly pulled level from the handover after several phases of attack from left to right, again saw the winger score in the corner.

Danniel popped the restart up to Mathew, who linked with Ben before receiving the ball back on the left wing. His momentum saw him surge through the Bolton tackles before a great body angle over the line put his name on the score sheet!  3-1 Eccles.

Both sides competed fairly at the break downs, and momentum was always encouraged until a handling error or exhaustion spilled the ball to the oponents. Bolton again pulled a score back just before the interval to leave the contest finely balanced.

The second half didn’t continue as the first…. It got better!

Both teams stepped up the intensity with Bailey rellishing the contact and showing his strength and determination in looking after the ball. Jack carried well and secured posession to keep his team on the front-foot. Seb invited his opposite winger to take the outside channel before chopping him at the knees and preventing a certain try. Ollie made an outstanding tackle on the Bolton Captain to signal his intentions. Jonnie was always a threat on the wing and looked dangerous with his fast feet.

The best passage of play came when Ben took the ball after Mathew ‘set it’ cleanly, to feed Max who continued the switch of play from right to left, with each player taking and passing accurately! One for the coaches I think (Trevor Parrott would be impressed …well done boys!).

As the ball came back into mid-field, Ollie swerved to create a gap and score out of nothing!

Bolton made a few changes in their set-up which worked wonderfully. They pressed straight from the restart and deserved the try to level the scores. Mathew then ‘chanced his hand’ after the Bolton defender touched the ball down behind his own line, pouncing on the loose ball to ‘claim’ the score! Unlucky Mathew, but always worth the risk to claim loose ball!

Ollie, enjoying his return to form, came up for his scond of the day, but this would be the last Eccles score as the boys from Mort Pavillion just found the gas in the tanks to nail the all important winning try!

A great game! All the boys (from both clubs) gave it their all, and not a single word of complaint from any of them! Tough tackles, great handling, cuts bumps and grazes = they loved it!

Comedy moment of the game has to go to Alfie, after receiving treatment for a mouth injury, ‘Dr Dave’ our emergency repair man, asked Alfie why he wasn’t wearing his mouthguard; “because its in my pocket” was the reply! Such was his anxiety to get onto the pitch, he didn’t have ‘time’ to put it in!

Training; this Weds 18th feb 6.30pm and Sunday 22nd Feb; 10.30am