A strong Eccles squad of 17 welcomed Bury RUFC this morning with Eccles hoping for a repeat of the November result that’s saw Eccles runout 31-7 winners against this morning’s opponents.
Bury got game underway with a kick deep into the Eccles half. The bright Eccles sun must’ve been shining in Alex T’s eyes as he missed his catch and knocked on. Eccles soon recovered and had good early possession in and around the Bury half. This possession was soon capitalised upon as Rob collects the ball and makes a diagonal run across the Bury defensive line, skipping past numerous tackles to cross the try line. Rob shows he’s still awake by continuing his run to score Eccles first try directly under the posts leaving a simple conversion for today’s kicker Lewis
7 – 0
Bury restart with a kick and in repeat of the earlier action, the Eccles sun proves too bright Alex T’s eyes as again he knocks the ball on. To complete this mornings déjà vu, Eccles force Bury further and further back inside their own 22 until eventually Eccles string a series of quick and positive passes together sending the ball wide across the Bury defence in a display of sensational Rugby. The ball is passed to Joe who to the bewilderment of the Eccles coaches and onlooking parents runs forward with the ball drawing in a number of Bury defenders before releasing the ball with perfect timing to the overlapping Rob who again scores this time in the corner
12 – 0
Bury show their class and resilience to pull a try back to leave the scores at 12 – 5. However Eccles dominance of this first part of the game sees them rewarded with a penalty deep inside the Bury 22. Quick thinking from Dan releases James to go over the try line however todays eagle eyed referee spotted an infringement forcing Eccles to retake the penalty. Again Dan is thinking on his feet as he quickly it takes a tap penalty and forces way over the line to score Eccles third try of the first half again in the corner. Lewis again steps up to take the kick but is denied as his long kick hits the upright
17 – 5
Clearly Bury were beginning becoming a little frustrated and as usual Dan , who today had disguised himself as Lewis, found himself at the centre of a situation that could have lead to the Coco Chanels being displayed. All credit to Dan though as he kept his cool and did not retaliate as he was pushed by his opposing number.
A fine move by Bury sees the ball passed wide to their winger who looks to be through, but the ever dependable Rob shows his defensive abilities with a crunching tackle that sees the Bury player reaching for the touchline like a floored wrestler grasping for the ropes.
Another Bury wave of attack is thwarted by the excellent Eccles defence which sees Elliott Hemming appear with the ball driving at the Bury lines, head down, ball securely tucked under his arm. Elliott is tackled but he is aware of the Eccles support and he releases the ball so Eccles can continue with their pressure. The ball eventually finds its way to the hands of Chea who runs 50m – but in every possible direction like a ball in a pinball machine, meaning he only gains 5m of territory. By the time Chea released the ball to Rob, the Bury defence must have been dizzy and Rob took full advantage of this to score his third try and bring this first half to close with Eccles ahead by 17 points
22 – 5 HT
Coaches James and Kevin made the most of their 17 man squad at half time by replacing Joe and James with Matthew L and Brad.
Bury started the second half much better than they had the first and the early pressure had Eccles pinned deep inside there own half. Just as it looked as though Bury were getting a grip on this fixture, Brad took it upon himself to show coaches Kevin and James what they had missed by having him on the bench for the first half as he collected the ball from a ruck on his own try line and ran the full length of the pitch through the lines of the Bury defence to score a magnificent try under the posts leaving a straightforward conversion for Lewis.
29 – 5
Injuries to Rob and Oliver saw both Joe and James return to the field of play
Credit to the Bury lads as they didn’t let their heads drop and they were soon back in the game with two quick tries and a conversion as the Eccles boys allowed the intensity displayed earlier in the game to fade a little
29 – 17
Eccles were soon back to their best as they form a rolling maul, driving Bury back towards their own half. The ball is released to the Eccles backs and a series of quick and accurate passes sees the ball eventually finding its way into the hands of Brad who evades a number of tackles to score in the corner. I imagine at this point Lewis must have been wondering if there was a conspiracy against him – almost every try he was asked to convert had been scored to leave him a mammoth kick from the touchline. A fine effort again, but just too short Lewis (the kick, not Lewis)
34 – 17
Bury got to the game underway again and were proving to be a resilient side. A series of soft penalties gave Bury’s biggest lads the opportunity to run at the Eccles defence however the returning Albert showed everybody what they had missed last week when he was absent with three thunderous tackles to prevent Bury gaining any ground inside the Eccles half. As the half drew to a close, Bury managed to score their fourth try right under the posts. The very last action of this game saw Eccles successfully charge the Bury kicker, forcing him to put his kick wide of the posts leave final score
34 – 22 FT
What a fantastic game of rugby this was today, two evenly matched sides fighting for the victory that eventually saw Eccles on top to complete a league & cup double over their opponents.
As is tradition now all the Eccles parents and some spectators are asked to nominate their Eccles man of the match. What an incredibly difficult decision it was today to choose one player from 17 lads, each of whom had played their part in great contest. Although a decision was eventually made, almost every parent mentioned at least two or three Eccles players names before settling on their man of the match. I don’t think there was a player who wasn’t mentioned by at least one parent as a possible candidate – even Matthew Walker
Eccles U14 Vital Statistics
Todays Eccles Squad
Chea C, Daniel A, Joshua G, Alex H, Elliott H, Lewis K, Matt L, Brad P, Joe R, Max R, David S, Robert S, Alex T, Albert T, Jack W, James W, Oliver W
Half Time Score 22 – 5
Full Time Score 34 – 22
Eccles Men of the Match
Players Choice – Albert
Coach Choice – Dan
Parents Choice – Robert
Tries – Robert x 3, Brad x 2, Dan x 1
Conversions – Lewis x 2
Lewis for taking on todays kicking duties and doing extremely well despite so many kicks being as far away from the pots as possible
In the absence of our regular captain, Alex H took the armband today and went on to perform a real captains display with possibly his best performance of the season
Fair play to our injured team captain for turning up to cheer the lads on today and act as water boy – he did however forget to bring the water.
Well, lets see how this dictation software has worked out…