In 711, the Moors, mainly North African Berber soldiers with some Arabs, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and began their conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania. After their conquest of the Visigothic kingdom’s Iberian territories, the Moors crossed the Pyrenees and took control of Septimania in 719, the last province of the Visigothic kingdom to be occupied. From their stronghold of Narbonne, they launched raids into the Duchy of Aquitaine.
Just been told that this wasn’t actually the Heaton Moors – hence the delay in this weeks match report.
Sooo – yet another beautiful Salford Sunday morning saw our visitors from Heaton Moor make the short journey over the Lancashire / Cheshire border to play an Eccles side that desperately needed a good result following a couple of poor games, but more importantly were in need of a good and convincing performance.
It was a promising start from Eccles as Matt W pumped the ball high in to the crisp Salford air and the Eccles pack raced forward, taking the game to Moor. But it would be Moor who would open the scoring with an opportunistic try early in the first half, capitalising on an Eccles handling error inside their own twenty two, allowing the Moor number 14 a clear run in to score in the corner. A difficult kick was converted and Moor were seven points ahead in what was a very evenly fought game.
0 – 7
Coach Kevin consoled the lads with some quiet words of encouragement which we could hardly hear from our vantage point 100m away.
Eccles rallied and were soon pressing for a try of their own. A series of Moor infringements gave Eccles good position and it would be a combination of the quick thinking of Dan A and the quick feet of Matt W that would see Eccles on the score sheet. Moor had conceded a number of successive penalties and Dan A would again opt for a tap penalty, not giving the Moor lads sufficient time to regroup and find their positions; as Dan found his progress halted by Moor tackles he releases the ball to Matt W who following a couple of dropped shoulders and dummies, places the ball in the corner to bring Eccles within two points.
5 – 7 – Matt W
Handling errors were to prove costly for Eccles as again Moor would take advantage of loose play and extend their lead by a further five points. The deficit could have been more but in a victory for confidence over competence the Moor lad opted to drop kick for the additional two points and unfortunately for Moor, he isn’t a Matt W
Half Time 5 – 12
The second half was again a fairly even affair with both teams having there fair share of the game. The highlight of the second half (other than Hagler v Hearns) was the Eccles converted try.
Ten minutes into an tense second half and Eccles are again on the offensive, driving the Moor defence back towards their own try line. Eccles have momentum and are rucking in a good position fifteen metres from the Moor try line. Dan A instructs the call and as the ball is made available to him at the back of the ruck he passes to Ellis P on the crash run. Ellis holds off three or four tacklers as he skittles his way through to plant the ball firmly down behind the try line. Matt W stepped up and nonchalantly popped the ball over the posts to bring the scores level
12 – 12 – Ellis P, Matt W
Eccles continued to battle on but the tie was eventually decided when Moor used every ounce of strength and energy to drive the ball over to reinstate their lead, managing to hold on until the final toot on Chris’s exhausted whistle.
Full Time 12 – 19
So all in all a much improved performance from Eccles when compared to the recent games at Rossendale and Bolton. However the lads will be disappointed that they haven’t improved on the corresponding fixture from last season (21 – 29)
Next weekend offers our lads the opportunity to put this defeat being them as we welcome Bolton RUFC to Eccles . May have to send them a map as the last time this age group visited Eccles Chris’s whistle still had a full size pea in it
Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics
Todays Eccles Squad
- Alex H – Loose Head Prop
- David S – Hooker
- Ellis P – Tight-Head Prop
- Oliver W– Second Row
- James W – Second Row
- Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
- Albert T– Open-Side Flanker
- Kieron R – Number Eight
- Dan A – Scrum-Half
- Matt W – Fly Half (Captain)
- Robert S– Left Wing
- Harry C– Inside Centre
- Shea S – Outside Centre
- Ed H – Right Wing
- Brad P – Full-Back
Replacements – James F, Nat K, Liam W, Max R, Jack W
- Matty L – Injured
- Alex T – Injured
- Josh G – Injured
- Ross A – Tanning up
- Archie H – AWOL
- Coach James – AWOL
Scores on the Doors
Half Time 5 – 12
Full Time 12 – 19
Eccles Try Scorers – Matt W, Ellis P
Eccles Conversons – Matt W
Eccles Men of the Match
Players Choice – Alex H
Alex has again proved his worth to his peers as he took the place of Josh G at Loose Head and having an outstanding game
Coach Choice – Dan A
Hugely missed for his speed of thought when he doesn’t play, Dan took the fight to the opposition on every occasion today. Occasionally though like the donkey in Shreik – just doesn’t know when to stop talking
Reporters Choice – Kieron R
Alex H has all but made the number 8 role his own at Eccles and for Kieron to put in such a solid performance in this position shows his great potential. Kieron showed great strength and composure at the back of a scrum riddled with both enforced and elected changes.
Well done and thanks to Chris’tle for again officiating todays match. No bumble bee top this week as “it would clash with the Heaton Moor jersey’s” so Chris opted for bright red shirt which apart from clashing with his rosy red cheeks, left him looking like a Chelsea Pensioner on a walking holiday.
No MoM for Matt W or Ellis P despite making the scoresheet. Both had fantastic games; Matt showing composure at the kicking tee and his fleet footedness to skip through the defence and score. Ellis displaying raw power, appetite and aggression to crash through the lines of defence and score.
Thanks to the lads who were out with injury but still came along to cheer the team on Josh G, Matt L, Alex T – decent Front Row there!!!
It never ceases to amaze me that the lads who are out through injury, ditch their play stations and joysticks to come down and offer support to their team mates. Not to single anyone out but Josh G hasn’t played since the end of last season but we still see him (and hear Danielle) at the game each week of his recuperation.
Welcome back from injury to Ed H, Matt W & Albert T
No Ross A this week as he is topping up his tan in Barcelona – imagine the dilemma for Ross’ sister…. do I study in Rhyl, Salford or Barcelona??
However we did see debut appearances from Nat K (Tanny) and Liam W in the second half. Tanny came on for Joey Eccles at Flanker and Liam replaced Ed at wing. Tanny had been playing his rugby with Folly, Liam with Langworthy; Both lads look to be accomplished players who should adapt quickly to the new code.
Did anyone see the Marvin Hagler v Thomas Hearns episode on the touchline?
The pen is mightier than the sword – didn’t have my pen to hand!
I didn’t get chance to council votes for Parents Man of the Match so as a one off I took responsibility for a Reporters MoM
Quotes of the day
Chris ‘the whistle’ Lee
“oh yes, the Acme Thunder. Thats the best whistle you can buy”
Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the young Heaton Moor lad who injured his leg playing for the U11s on the adjacent pitch