I’ve found out the trick of not turning up late for a meet for an away game, go direct. Even having to make a detour to pick up James Wright and “almost” getting lost on the way and having to stop for a cash point, we still arrived before most of the team. However this is not surprising considering they also had to find their way to the far flung corner of Lancashire that is known as Tarleton, to some the “Flat Lands”.
The weather forecast wasn’t good, in addition we had a change in the normal wind direction (as the locals informed me) making it an end to end wind. So may be a game of two halves was on the cards.
The Eccles line up was showing the settled nature of the side with little changes and a subs bench with a cumulative age which suggested it should have been on the Antiques Road Show. To name names I refer to Griff, Glenn and Tommo. Now that’s the first time I’ve mentioned the Griffalow since my faux-par of two weeks ago, however it won’t be the last in this report.
Eccles won the game in the first half by playing against the wind and dominating the game. Bar a few excursions by Tarleton into the Eccles half all the play seemed to be inside Tarleton territory with all the pressure and play coming from Eccles. The tackles were solid, carrying with the ball was direct and positive, the only thing depriving Eccles of a score was their own basic mistakes at critical moments.
After a missed long penalty attempt by the home side Eccles took the ball back up the field and mounted another series of attacks on the Tarleton line. With a good series of drives, supported by all the team, the ball was eventually carried over the line by Simon Donovon on the half hour mark. Tarleton then came back, or should I say Eccles let them come back to score two penalties before half time.
Half time score Tarleton 6 – Eccles 5.
Eccles turned round with the wind to their backs and spent the first ten or fifteen minutes thinking the game was already in the bag, even with a one point deficit. With Eccles unable to fully use the conditions to their advantage it wasn’t until a long range penalty by Danny Holland just squeezed over the bar that Eccles were allowed to retake the lead.
With Eccles taking the lead, the lads started to get all giddy, this was highlighted by a “chip kick” from the Griffalow, which he chose to just sit back and admire, for no apparent reason other than it went in a forward direction, then we had Hashtag fielding a kick to touch deep in his own half and going for a little punt which caught the wind and sailed away over the long dead ball line, and kept going. We were informed later they were still looking for it long after the game had finished.
More positive play by Eccles was rewarded with a Tom Dutton try which Danny Holland converted. This followed a good series of drives by the whole team, again. With the game defiantly in the bag this time Eccles closed out the match well, but not before the Griffalow chose to get his name in my report yet again by being shown a Yellow Card. Apparently he was hoping for a Christmas Card, but the ref misunderstood Griff’s desires.
Final Score Tarelton 6 – Eccles 15.
A good result which keeps the lads in the hunt and positions us well for the new year.
Three things of note during the game was the Lancashire President having to talk to Brunty, who was making a rare excursion from his sick bed, James Wright actually making a few tackles, and Greg Wilson making an inappropriate comment to our Kicking Tee attendant (Heather please take note).
On the way back I made the mistake of following Sam Simpson, who was following Thorpey, who was using a Satnav. Talk about going the long way round (I’m sure we crossed over the Ribble at one stage). I’ve always said Satnavs are for idiots. Of course the biggest idiot was me for following them in the first place.