U15’s – Heros found in the Roses

Despite the testing Salford conditions we were treated to a fantastic game of rugby today from both teams. West Leeds RUFC made the trip over  t’Pennines to fulfil a friendly (as Roses fixtures tend to be) fixture against our Under 15’s who had come off the disappointment of missing out on automatic qualification for the Blacksticks Plate quarters.

A boggy pitch and constant drizzle should have made things difficult for Eccles but the work put in on Thursday nights came to the fore as the lads ball handling skills were exemplary throughout.

Eccles opened up the scoring with a wonderfully worked try that saw all 15 players involved in the move at some point. But it was the big lads up top who, using their strength and tenacity, forced West Leeds back and back as Josh G, David S, Ellis P and the hugely impressive Alex H took turns to recycle the ball and drive in to the West Leeds pack. The Eccles pressure became too much for West Leeds to withstand and it was the ever improving Joe R who seized the opportunity to pick up the ball at the base of the ruck and dive for the line and score the Eccles try.

5 – 0

A the first half drew to a close Dan Gogh found himself in the note book of Chris the Whistle following a tackle that Dan felt was with the shoulder rather than the arm. Eccles down to 14 men defended well and found themselves within seconds of going in ahead at half time. But West Leeds made the most of their numerical advantage and from a line out forced the ball over beneath the posts. The ground conditions proved too difficult for the West Leeds kicker as his conversion drifted wide of the posts

Half Time 5 – 5

The second half was very much a repeat of the first with both teams engaging in good rugby, Eccles on top for the most part with West Leeds relying more on a defensive counter attacking game. No further try’s but a feast of quality rugby in difficult conditions.

Full Time 5 – 5

Eccles U15’s Vital StatisticsTodays Eccles Squad

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Starting IX

  1. Josh G – Loose Head Prop
  2. David S – Hooker
  3. Ellis P – Tight-Head Prop
  4. Oliver W– Second Row
  5. James W – Second Row
  6. Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
  7. Albert T– Open-Side Flanker
  8. Alex H – Number Eight
  9. Dan A – Scrum-Half
  10. Harry C – Fly Half
  11. Jack W– Left Wing
  12. Matt W – Inside Centre (Captain)
  13. Shea S– Outside Centre
  14. Max R – Right Wing
  15. Brad P – Full-Back

Replacements – Adam A, Matt L, James F & Archie H

Scores on the Doors

Half Time – 5 – 5

Full Time – 5 – 5

Eccles Try Scorer – Joe R

Eccles Men of the Match

Players Choice – Alex H

Coach Choice – Alex H

Parents Choice – David S & Alex H (tied on 8 votes each)

Notable Mentions

Many thanks to West Leeds RUFC under 15’s players, coaches and parents for making the journey from the Dark Side over to God’s country. It’s always great to play new sides, especially when the two sides are so evenly matched.

A big welcome back to Coach Kevin who made his presence felt on the touchline. We’re currently trying to line up a sponsorship deal with Strepsils for Kevin

The new kits were on show today and so a big thank you has to go out to the winners of the sponsorship raffle and the extremely generous sponsors of Eccles RFC Under 15’s Chester Chew Building Contractor, First Aid and More and Sammys Pet Parlour who helped provide the new high quality, figure hugging, ‘guns n pecs showing’ shirts and shorts for the lads.

Alex H with a clean sweep of the Man of the Match awards today is a very fair reflection of how well he played. Alex was involved in everything that Eccles did well today. Keep it up Alex – consistency is the key!

David S tied with Alex H for parents man of the match having had an outstanding game at Hooker, a position he has made his own.

Once again Chris the Whistle stepped up to the plate to officiate todays game. Many thanks Chris’tle.

Semaphore John took the flag and ran todays ‘line’. Well done John and congratulations …. you’ve got the job

The ever reliable Alex T came along to act as chief cheerleader for the boys while he waits for his his hand to heal.

Oliver (get one free) W took a nasty knock to the head that forced him off the pitch late in the second half. Hopefully he’ll have a a speedy recovery and be back playing alongside James (buy one) again very soon unless he get’s that part in Countryfile

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Naughty Step

Dan Gogh went all Anglo Saxon on todays referee Chris’tle which earned him a cheese slice and some time in the sin bin

The Salford weather

A few (mainly blurry) iPhone snaps of todays game

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The Last Word

I’m thinking of doing a very short interview piece with each of the coaches and lads for publishing on the U15’s area of the Eccles RFC website. As you might expect, nothing too serious, just a bit of fun.