6/10.13 – 2.00pm k.o. Att: 33
Not only was it a long trip north to the gateway to the Lakes but it was also like going back in time. Idyllic country scenes with rolling green unspoilt hills, the club house held an open fire and a man in sandals watched from the touchline!! We stood and viewed from a rickety old stand housing 2 ole foxes and a badger, or as I like to call them, Dave, Jimmy and Tim. The surrounding views were undulating with ups and downs in the landscape as was the pitch.
Only the lads and dads had travelled for this important away trip, which was a good choice in hindsight as we crossed a cattle grid on the entrance to the ground.
The home side kicked off and an early scrum for a knock on pitched Eccles up against a big n burly Kirkby pack.
A silky run from Aaron Booth but miss kicked his chip through. An exchange of views and eye contact from Lewis to his opposing number in the scrum resulted in 2 fleeting tackles to deny KL any ground and a cry of ‘that’s how you tackle’ certainly let the home side know they were in for a game.
Good line out and throw from Simon followed by a great drive pushed the visitors into the home sides half but an inability to maintain the ball allowed Kirkby to exploit Eccles’ lack of cover and like a post op tranny there was no tackles allowing Kirkby to run from their own half to score with 15 minutes on the clock, he kick was wide. 0-5
Eccles were gaining in the scrum and the pressure told as they turned over the ball and pummelled the home line which eventually cracked and Simon saw a gap and dove in. Aaron missed kick 5-5.
Silly penalties being given away nearly saw Eccles punished again but the option to kick the penalty proved wrong when Kikrby failed to split the uprights.
The kick out was ran straight back and only a foot into touch stopped Kirkby scoring again. However this was short lived when the line out was lost just over the 22 and KL drove well and broke from the back of the maul to score. Kick wide 5-10.
Eccles produced a great scrum again and Aaron ran well into KL’s half, quick hands from Ross but was held up. Eccles kept the ball alive deep into the home half, Aaron to Connor who fed Lenny (and boy is he hungry!!) who went over to level again. Aaron converted to give Eccles a half time lead 12-10.
The second half promised to be as close as the first but with Eccles looking good ball in hand expectations were high, a bit like Ross’ tackle who looked more like a dance than a tackle.
Joe Whizz talked well but this display of how to deserted Eccles 15 minutes in as Kirkby Lonsdale sliced through like a pig through hot strawberries to take back the lead converted 12-17.
Now I, being the traditional old school lad I am, I always like my presents gift wrapped but Eccles were just handing them out like hot cakes… Bad decision making led Ben to opt to kick when trying to retrieve a kick over the top but lost out allowing KL an easy try under the posts, converted 24-12.
Eccles had plenty of the ball but lost out in the line out deep into the home side’s territory relieving any pressure gained. Lenny had a good snatch & run but the visitors failed to keep up any momentum and when KL tried the kick over the top again replacement wing Curt (yes Curt Bates) flopped to the deck and did a seal impression to scoop the ball to safety (someone throw the lad a fish!).
In the final minutes Kirkby, like the last dance at the school disco, had plenty of men spare to round off a second half comeback, 29-12.
A good first half showed why Eccles were top of the league but they gave it away in the second half. Short on players and guys out of position, forwards as wingers and wingers at full back all we needed was Joe Whizz at prop! Man of the match for his tackles and the only man not to moan.
Match report Jason Eaton