Ready, set…..GO! Eccles U16 get the 2016-17 season off to a start with a fixture away at Bolton RUFC. New rules and new tactics drilled and absorbed during summer training needed to be demonstrated in a game that never fails to raise the interest levels of all involved.
In recent years this has proved to be a feisty affair with the players attitude towards the game being fuelled by social media baiting from both sets of players. What todays fixture did was to eradicate memories of coffee chucking and handbag swinging as we were all treated to a spectacular game of rugby.
Bolton fielded a strong team but were missing their influential 10 and pacy winger; Eccles too were suffering a shortage in personnel with Dan Gogh still recuperating from his recent wing-nut realignment and Josh G still injured following his demonstration as to why those from the Front Row shouldn’t ride bikes (without stabilisers).
Contrary to Eccles usual form, the first half was fairly evenly matched 35 with Bolton edging it with a couple of tries and a conversion. Eccles fought hard and defended faultlessly with the in form Matty L leading from the front alongside, Head Boy Alex H and the powerhouse Prop David S
The second half belonged to Eccles (just) as they had Bolton on the blackfoot from the kick off. Eccles pressed hard for a try as Bolton defended and counter attacked, keeping the Eccles defensive lines focused and busy.
For so early in the season the Eccles work rate was phenomenal with Harry C, Albert T, Matt L amongst others taking the fight to the opposition in all areas of the field.
Lifting in a contested line out is new to the lads this year and it was Eccles who had the better of the line-outs despite the forced positional changes which saw Joe R replaced by James & / or Oliver W in the lift and David S replaced at Hooker by Ellis P
The scrum was reasonably even with possession tending to stay with the put-in and it was from a scrum that Eccles scored a superb try with the ball finding its way to the secure hands of Matt W who having weighed up his options, opted for a cheeky dink over the Bolton lines for the pacy Robert S to run on to. The crowd held their breath as the ball floated down towards the butter strewn hands of Robert – but no! he took the ball from its flight, tucked it under his arm and powered towards the corner to score a try …… and on his birthday as well 🎂
Eccles looked to be through again with a fantastic run from Shea S right at the heart of the Bolton defence, he fainted to go right and darted left; fast footwork seemed to have taken him through only for his run to be curtailed by the tiring Bolton defence.
So an opening day defeat against very strong opposition but Eccles heads were held high as they left the field with one Lancashire Cup point to add to the points gained from those collected last week following a no-show from West Park
Who knows – the score may have been closer still had Eccles not had the forced withdrawals of Ed, Harry and David
Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics
Todays Eccles Squad
- Alex H – Loose Head Prop
- David S – Hooker
- Matt L – Tight-Head Prop
- Oliver W– Second Row
- James W – Second Row
- Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
- Albert T– Open-Side Flanker
- James F- Number Eight
- Harry C – Scrum-Half
- Matt W – Fly Half (Captain)
- Robert S– Left Wing
- Shea S– Inside Centre
- Ed H – Outside Centre
- Jack W – Right Wing
- Brad P – Full-Back
Replacements – Alex T, Ellis P, Max R, Kieron R
Scores on the Doors
Half Time 12 – 0
Full Time 12 – 5
Eccles Try Scorers – Robert S
Eccles Men of the Match
Players Choice – Robert S
Coach Choice – Coach Kevin was too emotional to comment
Parents Choice – Brad P
Well done to lil Paul for driving Danielle and the family back from Eastbourne in time to watch the game. According to the Green family from Salford – Eastbourne is “a but rough” – thats worth pondering over for a couple of minutes! http://www.visiteastbourne.com/
How cool was Brad P today? goaded throughout the game, Brad remained calm and focused as he played his way to the first parents MotM award of the season, Well done Brad – stay frosty!
Joe R showed his game versatility, starting at Flanker and completing the game at Scrum Half. 6 and 9 as they say
Thanks to Dan A for running the line today – you have to admire the lads who cannot play but still train and turn up to fixtures home and away.
Max R arrived just in time after making sure his sister was definitely dropped off at University in Aberystwyth
Amongst todays injuries 🚑:
Lots of knocks and bumps today including a broken nose I think??
David S took a knock to the arm and was taken to A&E as a precaution. Hopefully his injury won’t be too serious as David is a pivotal member of the team
Harry C’s game was cut short when he was on the receiving end of some ungentlemanly face scratching, leaving him temporarily unable to see from his left eye. It didn’t stop him wanting to rejoin the game though
Joe R took a knock to the head but a squirt of water and a couple of tokes on Mark Skillicorns bong seem to sort him out.
Ed H was withdrawn following a knock to the head which left him with some neck spasms.
👎🏽 The eye scratcher 👎🏽
🍴 Lunchtime kick off and no food available other than a choice of a pie, a pasty or a sausage roll for the players – I think the minis who kicked off an hour earlier must have cleaned out the food
Quote of the day
Suds John comes a close second with his Frozen chant of ‘Let it go, let it go’
Coach Kevin takes it with “how long do we play each half?”
Did anyone else hear Coach Kevin say “well done Matthew son, you’re playing a blinder”?
Goes to Coach Kevin with his video of the lads
Lifting at the line out, who’d have thought we’d get it right first time