The very finest of Autumnal Salford mornings welcomed our visitors from Altrincham Kersal RFC today with yet another test for our Lancashire lads against a fine side from the Cheshire league.
As is becoming the norm, Eccles were able to field an incredibly strong squad of 25 players even though the likes of Dan G and Captain Matt W were unavailable today
We haven’t come across Altrincham Kersal RFC before and didn’t know what to expect, would it be a hard and fair game as was the case against Stockport or the handbags and lipstick we witnessed at an earlier fixture in Cheshire?
From the kick off Eccles had the majority of possession and never really looked threatened as Altrincham Kersal found themselves contained inside their own half for the first 15 minutes. However Eccles couldn’t find a way to break through the steadfast Altrincham Kersal defence who were working incredibly hard in the ruck to turn the ball over and clear their lines with a long and accurate kick on a number of occasions.
20 minutes in and with the scores still at 0 – 0 Altrincham Kersal break out of their own half and show their attacking flair as they push Eccles back deep inside their own 22 but the ball is turned over and Ed H is the first to react, collecting the ball and bursting forward down the left flank. Ed made a good 60m before his Usain Bolt legs hit the treacle area of the pitch slowing him down to a stroll as the Altrincham Kersal tacklers closed in. Ed released the ball to Brad who had been running in support but the ball was knocked on and bounced out of play.
Eccles were definitely on top and it wasn’t long before they turned their dominance into points with the impressive Cameron B collecting the ball from an Eccles scrum and using his strength to hold off four tacklers as he crashed through the Altrincham Kersal defensive lines to score beneath the posts and leave himself the simplest of conversions
7 – 0
The Eccles lads were still high-fiving and backslapping their congratulations when within moments of the restart they found themselves pegged back as a lack of concentration in the Eccles defence saw Altrincham Kersal score in the corner, a position which proved too difficult to convert.
7 – 5
The remainder of the first half was very even with both sides pressing hard but each finding the others defence too strong.
Half Time 7 – 5
The half time break gave mathematician and stand-in Manager Brom the opportunity to shake things up which he did by bringing on seven fresh players for half a dozen lads who had played out the first half
Altrincham Kersal started the second half well, creating a number of good opportunities to score but the final pass or more often a poor decision let them down allowing Eccles to clear their lines.
20 minutes into the second half and Eccles are awarded a penalty which Dan Gogh taps quickly and finds Josh G on the crash run. Ruck is called and Eccles prepare to attack the Altrincham Kersal lines. The ball is out and passed through the forwards and wide to Cameron B who slips his tackler before making a right to left diagonal run and pursued by three Altrincham Kersal defenders he takes to the air and dives over the line to score his and Eccles’ second try of the game right in the corner. The conversion proved too difficult for Cameron who’s try brought the game to a close with Eccles ahead by seven points
Full Time 12 – 5
What a great game; Altrincham Kersal gave 100%, Eccles 107% in a hard fought hour of rugby. The only thing more tired than the players was that little pea which must have been exhausted.
Eccles had the best of the play and possession and came out victorious however, better handling and decision making in the final third by our visitors could have left a very different complexion on the scoreline.
Passports at the ready for our next two fixtures which are both away; Buxton followed by Vale of Lune. Two teams that we haven’t played before, both will be a test of the lads game and their ability to get up early on a Sunday – not to mention out navigational skills
Eccles U15’s Vital Statistics
Todays Eccles Squad (25 strong)
Adam A, Dan Gogh, Cameron B, Harry C, Chea C, James F, Joshua G, Ed H, Alex H, Robert J, Matthew L, Brad P, Ellis P (Capt), Joe R, Max R, David S, Rob S, Alex T, Albert T, Jack W, James W, Oliver W, Archie, Shea, Kieron
Half Time Score 7 – 0
Full Time Score 12 – 5
Eccles Men of the Match
Players Choice – Ellis P
Coach Choice – Cameron B
Parents Choice – Cameron B
Try Scorers – Cameron B x 2
Conversions – Cameron B 1 from 2
A huge thank you to Jordan (Brom) Bromley for standing in for Coach Kevin & Coach James who were both away. 100% game to win ratio as a coach!
Thanks again to Chris Lee for officiating todays fixture – its very hard to have a game without a referee
Conversation inside Coach Brom’s head –
“we’ve got an extra man on… Oh god I hope no one notices, oh no the referee has spotted it and sent one off”
10 minutes later, another tactical move from Brom and another conversation in his head
“right errrrr, hold on, who did I just bring off ……. oh god, I’ve got 16 on again”
A few lads made their home debut today with James F, Archie, Kieron & Shay all making an impact on the game.
Ellis P captained the side today and did a fine job of both organising and encouraging the lads from the off
Some fine encouragement from the crowd on the touchline “For goodness sake lads spread out, you look like the Keystone Cops” – Cath R
Cameron B took most of the plaudits today but other players had equally good games including James W who brought massive energy to the scrum, Brad P seemed to be involved in everything that Eccles did well,
The majority of the players played in their regular positions but due to the many changes some were asked to play in an unfamiliar role which they all rose to.
Josh G and Dan Gogh both played through the pain barrier, linking up well in set plays generally and forcing the move that led to the second try
Alex H has finally found his running legs and he definitely brought them to the game today – great game Alex.
Without exception all the lads put in a shift and were very much deserving of the win. Many thanks to the players, coaches and parents of Altrincham Kersal RFC for todays game; clearly a good rugby side with the right attitude towards the game
Rachael Riley sheds a sigh of relief as her job as resident mathematician on Countdown looks safe
Under the tunnel – whats all that about??
My injured foot looks like its bringing my football career to a premature close so in order to maintain this fabulous physique I have taken to swimming. However due to the years catching up on me I was caught short last week and ended up having a wee in the deep end – the lifeguard blew his whistle so loud that I almost fell in