U16s end 2016 with a brief encounter win over Huddersfield

Eccles U16s had hoped to close out 2016 with another competitive victory. Sadly for the boys their opponents Bury RUFC couldn’t muster a side and so the points were tucked neatly into coach Kevin’s back pocket and an alternative fixture was arranged. Over th’hill came the lads from the far West of the Yorkshire region in the guise of Huddersfield RUFC. Our boys played Huddersfield at U15 level in a game where the excitement of having a new kit seemed to go to the boys heads as they lost by 26 points on that occasion.

This time would be different. The lads had been playing well with recent victories against Ormskirk and Sedgley Park and a victory looked on the cards as Eccles took an early lead with a try from Matt W.

Unfortunately for Matt he had to leave the field early as, in a comedic moment Joey Eccles entered the ruck from the side and inadvertently booted Matt in the head. Penalty to Huddersfield and the end of the game for Matt.

Five points ahead and looking dominant in all areas of the field, Eccles were in control. Defensively steadfast, powerful and fast in attack. Unfortunately the game was to end on a sad note as an injury to one of the Huddersfield players brought the game to a premature close. Initially the injury to the lads leg looked very serious and local dog walker Andy felt compelled to call in the medevac (too many ‘nam films). The young lad was airlifted to hospital where I understand the injury is a ligament / soft tissue injury rather than a break as first feared.

So the game was concluded with Eccles ahead 5 – 0 and the pre-Christmas festivities began with a few scoops in the club house, a trip to Sale Sharks vs Saracens where the boys collected the usual souvenirs, photo with Owen Farrell, hand shake from Maro Itoje and of course a ball. A ball which Joey Eccles belted towards the waiting parents but shanked and clattered off the head of a bewildered spectator. Leave the kicking to Matt W, Harry C and Ellis P lad

The evening came to a conclusion in the Unicorn hostelry where James & Oliver were controlling the jukebox expertly – Arctic Monkeys, Sex Pistols, BB King etc while the rest of the lads played a bit of 8-ball.

Pint of lemonade for James W as Matty L leaves his prints on the hot goods

Still nursing that pint of lemonade

Matt W, fresh from getting off the horse

Hopefully the Huddersfield lad will be playing again soon as it’d be great to replay the fixture. The Huddersfield players, coaches and parents were a great bunch and seemed appreciative of our efforts to keep the lad comfortable while we awaited the ambulance.

In addition to the medieval we had a visit from the ambulance service to tend to an Eccles U14 player who had injured his neck. Hopefully he is in good shape and able to get back to his rugby soon

Great to see Coach James again. Many thanks for the tickets James.

2016 has been a great year for this group of young players. We have had s few losses but on the whole the year should be looked at as a good one. Victories over old foe like Sedgley, Sefton and Rochdale; wins over the likes of Buxton, Colne, Ormskirk and Huddersfield; convincing performances against Bolton, West Leeds and current Lancashire Cup holders Liverpool Collegiate.

The squad is stable and the introduction of new recruits like Tanny, Ross, Liam etc means that we have cover for every position. This keep the players honest, putting100% in to both training and games.

Looking ahead we have a tough home fixture to Rochdale in the Lancashire Cup in February. Ahead of that we play Ormskirk, Stockport and Orrell at home and an away trip to Altrincham Kersal. All winnable games which will hopefully have the lads ready for the cup fixture.

Merry Christmas!