Eccles U9s @ the Rossendale Tournament; Sunday 5 Oct ’14

Eccles U9s Squad; Team 01: Ollie. Maxwell. Jonnie. Alfie. Sohan. Danniel.

Team 02: Mathew. Adam. Finn. Ethan. Jake. Seb. 

The boys made the trip deep into the Lancashire countryside on Sunday for their inaugural Tournament; and what a good day was had!

For those of us who have experienced the radical micro climate enjoyed in the Rossendale Valley down the years, the weather was on our side for once! Glorious sunshine emerged in what was a well organised event, hosting 20 teams from across the area.

We split into two teams to enable all the boys to be playing at the same time.

Consequently, reporting on the number of games the boys played is proving to be a challenge even for my literary genius!

Team 02 was supported by Coach Fleming and the first oposition was probablly the strongest team the boys have encountered. Littleborough gave us a bit of a tackling masterclass. However, our boys did not give up so easily and put everything in right to the last whistle. Jake was a revelation in the tackle area, Mathew took the ball up constantly and Seb continues to punch well above his weight on the wing. Despite their gallant efforts, Littleborough took the spoils.

Next up was Warrington; played in a wonderful spirit and a credit to their coaching team, the empahasis was placed on attacking running rugby. This provided a better flavour was the Eccles boys with Mathew leading the attack, supported by Finn on his shoulder before looking to release our flying wingers in Ethan and Seb. Adam, playing his first games of the season didn’t let anyone down and managed to score neatly following some great presentation and off-loading around the contact zone. Ethan followed on the scoresheet before Mathew was rewarded for his hard work. Finn constantly straightened the lines of attack, then Seb went on a great run down the right wing before getting tackled into touch. Warrington eased up and very nearly paid the price as the boys got to within a score but again the opposition were just to strong in attack at the end of the game.

Team 01 was supported by DoR Bates who provided the facts for the following report; Eccles got placed with Wigan, Preston Grasshoppers and Bolton in their group. First up were Bolton and what a game it turned into! Eccles just comming out on top 8-7 on the whistle, with 7 of the tries comming from Ollie!

Next up were ‘Hoppers; and another try fest was delivered, and again Ollie hit form with 4 tries. It was thanks to great team work that gave him a platform to bag his wares; Danniel omminous on the run, Maxwell crashing the ball up the middle to pull the defenders in, with Sohan on his shoulder. Just when it looked like Ollie had burnt-out; Jonnie got the scoring bug! The boys realised that the best form of attack came down the flanks and this is where Jonnie comes alive! In addition to this, his defensive game paid off, thwarting several ‘Hoppers attacks. Eccles sneaked it 9-8!

Wigan came in next and the quality of rugby continued! The Eccles 02 team were able to provide much needed substitutions by now, as the toll took affect on the boys; We were the ONLY club to put two teams in; all the others took large squads and rotated thier players. Seb came on for more width out wide and Mathew slotted into the middle alongside Max. The game finished 5-5 but Eccles won their group stage!

The knock-outs; First-up were Bury and the early stages of the game were well balanced with both teams exchanging scores. It was Jonnie who pushed through the gears to collect a hat-trick with some superb wing play to get the watching parents and coaches thinking; erm, we might just be in with a shout here! Dizzy heights!  

So it was onto a much fancied Rossendale on their home patch; Alfie was a rock in defence and he is developing his attacking game every time he runs out; keep it up! He bagged a well deserved score in a contest that sometimes nearly bolied over! –  Oh what fun/tears/frustration and pleasure this game provides! Maxwell was the pain in the side for the opposition who paid more attention trying to target Max’s nose than the ball! No bother to Max! Well done fella! But for a few missed tackles, we might just have got in for the win, but a fair result eventually as ‘dale nicked it at the death as the lads ran out of steam. Rossendale went on to win the silverware and well done to them!

 It has to be said that we are immensely proud of our U9s achievements, as the team spirit grows and grows. These boys are comming together and thier attitude is an example to other clubs of how this sport is played. They roll with the knocks and are respectful of the opposition in victory. They feel the pain yet they go for more. Whilst the other teams practiced their drills inbetween games, our boys climbed trees (appologies to the gorundsman!) in the local wooded area, emerging with sticks and branches like they’re heading for an evening in Patricroft! They then switched-on at the whistle! Fantastic! Their medals and certificates were well deserved. 

A big thanks to Rossendale and Elaine for the whole day and the invitation; excellent organisation!

Next Sunday 12th Oct; we are away to Tyldesley. KO – 11.00am

Training this Weds @ 6.30pm Gorton St. All welcome including new players!