First XV 69-19 Workington

After the great result in Aspatria the previous week Eccles returned to Gorton Street looking to keep their form going against a Workington side that had struggled in the league so far this season.

Eccles started the game strongly. The scrum was absolutely dominant which meant very little ball for the visitors. And it didn’t take long for this possession to turn into points as Matt “definitely not on debut” Parkinson showed great speed down the wing to score. This was soon followed by Joe Dale crashing his was over and Tom Chapman going in out wide. When Connor Thornley cut a great line to send Andrew Maddocks scampering in under the posts for the fourth try in 30 minutes it looked like the floodgates might open. But to Workington’s credit they stuck with it and their efforts were rewarded. First their winger exploited a mismatch out wide to race away from a number of would be defenders and score. Then, following a yellow card for James Wright, hesitation and confusion in the Eccles defensive line allowed them in again, and suddenly everything wasn’t so clear cut. But after some stern words behind the posts Eccles remembered what they were here to do, and improved their play, allowing Tom Chapman and Matt Parkinson to pick up their second tries of the game and restore Eccles’ comfortable lead.

Workington started the second half brightly after another defensive mistake from Eccles. This time gaps were left at the side of the ruck as players competed for the ball, which allowed the Workington 8 to race away and crash his way over the line, raising their score to 19. Fortunately for Eccles that was the last time the visitors worried the scoreboard and it was they who would provide the rest of the day’s highlights.

Tom Chapman scored his third of the day, Glen Cahill touched down at the back of a scrum, before arguably the try of the day was scored by Will “Hashtag” Parkinson as he caught a beautiful cross field kick from Danny Holland to race in uncontested. In the last few minutes of the game the Workington dam did start to break which allowed Freddie Oakey and James Radcliff to run in easy tries. The referee’s whistle possibly brought an end to proceedings a couple of minutes early but nobody was too upset. With seven conversions and a fine all round performance in the midfield Danny Holland was named as man of the match. Final score 69-19.

Although Workington were below the levels we’ve seen from them in recent years, Eccles will be pleased to get their first home win under the belt. But they’ll need to cut out the defensive mistakes when they face a sterner test this week away at Whitehaven, before returning to Gorton Street on 12/10/13 to face Upper Eden.