Fourth XV vs. Altrincham Kersal, 20/09/2014

Altrincham Kersal 4th 0  v Eccles 4th 55 20/09/2014

The 4ths went on the road for the first away fixture of the season and not only came away with a victory but also claimed top spot of their division. It’s a cliché that sports a ” funny old game” but in the first half it certainly was as the home side had most of the possession whilst Eccles did all the scoring. In the first twenty minutes tried all that they could but find the fourths defence unyieldying in the ferocity of tackling while looking sharp in the chances that were created .Eccles should have scored twice in this period as full back Nick Hageman was tap tackled metres from the line after a long surging run and then knocked on from even closer with no opposition in sight. Eccles eventually found the breakthrough when a neat pass to centre Mark Plumbridge  saw him crash through the defensive line to score under the posts with Jack Dewie converting.If that was a good try the next was better as the other centre Lee Murphy came from deep and at a great angle to slice through the home ranks and again score under the sticks with Dewie adding the extras. A kick to the corner nearly saw Kersal sneak  a try back  and they clearly felt well in the match but were put on the back foot as from a line out in their own half Eccles quickly worked the ball upfield fro winger Tom Rose to feed inside to forward Andy Waring  who from 25 metres ran for all his life was worth to touchdown with Dewie once tacking on the conversion.  Things did not get any better for a frustrated home side as a neat pair of tries from Dewie both converted by himself saw Eccles 35-0 ahead at the interval .A muted start to the second half livened up as Hageman swung into action twice making long range breaks to out pace the opposition to score , He then turned provider followed another run he found Murphy in support who did the honours in scoring. Hageman completed his hat trick with curving break from the right wing before squeezing in at the left hand corner. A superb team effort with the forwards solid in defence and gaining valuable possession in line outs where Kris Whitehead and colleagues where at their efficient best allowing the pace and handling of the backline to flourish .Stand off Jack Dewie took the man of match plaudits for his control and kicking game with a honourable mention for his half Matthew Pass with Danny McCaffrey making debut on the wing as a second half replacement. Kersal though mightly exhausted and dejected in final quarter put up a stern show non more than Eccles player Jay Wilson who played from the start as the home side were one man short and in his preferred position of scrum half was their man of the match by good long way.