A beautiful sunny day greeted Eccles’ promising teenagers as they began their Junior Colts season with a home opener against their Cheshire rivals. Dave ‘The Duke’ Bates was on a coaching mission in Portugal (???) so Nick took charge. Macclesfield started the game but the kick off was spilled by Dave but Curt cleaned up. Possession changed hands quickly and Eccles had to defend a scrum 10 yards from their own line, Rob ran the ball well but was tackled and Harry backed up well. Lewis added an early crunching tackle and a frustrated push on Bob showed the visitors weren’t going to get an easy afternoon. It was like a 5 year old girl trying to push over a bus!!
The ball was kicked to touch which cleared the Hitler RUFC club house (we have only got one ball!). Good tackling again this time from Evan and debutant Joe G was showing no nerves early on keen to get on the ball and tackling well. The visitors managed to get the ball out wide however on 7 mins and the men over made it pay moving the ball across to go over. Good kicking 0-7.
From a touch kick Dave Benn showed his kicking round corner skills and blamed his desert docs! Johnny ran well and gained ground and only a high tackle on Tom W stopped Eccles progressing. The home team were now camped deep in the Macclesfield half, Lenny was strong as were the Eccles forwards winning the majority of scrums but unable to advance over the visitors line. Slow ball out and loosing possession was costing them and when eventually they took charge of a line out 5 yards out were unable to ground a powerful drive.
Curt came off hurt and was replaced by his better looking younger bruv and Eccles finally made all their possession pay, good scrum again and ball out but they gave the ball away only to win it back and Tom W squeezed in over the line. Johnny put the kick wide. 5-7.
You couldn’t fault Eccles’ work load, they were as busy as Dave Bates eyes checking out the girls in the Algarve, Lewis tackling well and Lenny powering into everything. Lenny’s scuffed kick almost let Mac back in but quick thinking and a neat side step by Connor (must get it off his mother!!) allowed Johnny to kick and relieve the pressure.
Eccles were unlucky not to go into the break leading after having most of the ball in the opposition half but the heat and and hard work had them sweating like a bus load of fat girls going to a Justin Timberlake concert.
The early moments of the second half saw the ball change possession several times, Lewis again in amongst it but it was all too messy and no one could keep control of the ball. 8 minutes into the half a Mac scrum saw the ball out quick and a few missed early tackles allowed Macs attack cut through Eccles flimsy defence like a pig through hot strawberries. Missed conversion 5-12.
Eccles didn’t learn and were tackling like Matt Cardle (X Factor!?!)… No hits! (Keep up) and Macclesfield were starting to look like this may become a cricket score.
But the young guns heads did not drop and with The Dukes groans (drunken groans by now) ringing in their ears their defences weren’t to get breached again.
Good ball out to Tom H threw a dummy and was tackled short but continued pressure almost paid off but Ross was held up unable to ground the ball however the reinforcements arrived in the shape of revitalised Curt who fell over… sorry powered over the line. Class kick from Aaron brought the scores to 12-19.
Eccles were not being distracted by Dave Benn’s legs, last time I saw legs like that they were hanging out of a birds nest…! With another good line out well won by Dave H again started a great drive but held up before the line.
A wayward pass was picked up well by Harry and the ball out wide to Shaun who just didn’t have the legs and was tackled into touch. Dave H won the line as ever and the following scrum well won and Eccles used their strength, the ball out was like his dad at the bar with beer spilled by Sam.
More pressure was rewarded and quick ball out to Evan who flew in at the corner, with only minutes on the clock it needed a great kick from Aaron to level the scores and he obliged from the touch line, class kick 19-19.
Lewis took a visit to the sin bin for being off his feet but the home side managed to keep Macclesfield at bay for the dying moments and Mark (yes we have a German in our ranks!!) was flying up the wing late on and didn’t shy away from the on coming defence as he was flattened into touch and came up looking like one of the water bottles!!
Final score 19-19
Good solid display against a good Macclesfield side and rounded off by man of the match Dave H