Well the roller-coaster ride which goes under the name of the Eccles first team season continued with an away game at Heaton Moor. Thankfully this week’s encounter saw Eccles on the up slope.
The game started in almost comical fashion with the Eccles kick-off not going 10m. From this meagre advantage Heaton Moor quickly made their way up the field and soon knocked over a penalty. From the next restart the kick gave the appearance that it was again not going 10m so all stood still. All apart from the welsh wizard (or should it be druid?) on the wing who decided to practise some footy skills no one knew he had. Dribbling the ball into the in-goal area he then tripped himself up and fell on the ball to score to everyone’s amazement.
The game then started to take the shape we know all too well with the forwards dominating but everyone making the mistake of trying to play the rugby in their own half, when the conditions called out for gaining the territory first and then playing. On the few occasions this simple correct process was applied, Eccles were able to put the home side under immense pressure and it was no surprise when Mark Greenhalgh squeezed his slim frame in for a try following a series of driving runs at the line.
This took the half time score to 3 – 10 in Eccles favour.
The second half almost started the same for Eccles with everyone giving the appearance that they were hoping for a 15 minutes break, instead of the regulation 5. This allowed Heaton Moor to run in a try of their own to bring the scores to within 2 points.
Then we had what I can only describe as hell freezing over, just. After putting the home side under suitable pressure Eccles were awarded a 5m scrum. Now the usual thing that happens here is Eccles push the opposition scrum back over the line and someone, who must remain nameless, messes up and a scoring opportunity is lost. But not this time, the self-styled legend, with ears (and the rest) resembling those of a character out of The Moonies, managed to pick up the ball and dive over for a try. To be honest, he almost messed it up again. Well done Glen, one day you just might get the hang of it. Oh, Lee Robson kicked the conversion.
There then came a series of inter-changes as Eccles started to flex their muscles. With Eccles again pressing we had the best try of the day as the ball was moved in hand from wing to wing and back again finishing in the welsh druid sneaking in to score again.
The game was sealed, after everyone who had an opinion expressing it, with a Lee Robson penalty and on the stroke of full time the welsh wizard scored his hat-trick by driving over the home sides line from 3 inches out, being pushed all the way by his admiring head coach. Full time score 8 – 30 to Eccles and a bonus point to boot.
This season’s performances are ranging from the sublime, where they appear to be able to score at will, to the ridicules of not knowing how to close a game out. At times the resemblance to the Keystone Kops is not missed by some. Ranging from the vociferous to the mute, the abject fool to the know it all, we have the lot. Thankfully for all, it’s a cross section like this that makes a good team.
Final question, did Tom Chapman buy his jug?