Sunday saw the visit of Sharkey, mascot of Sale Sharks, to Groton Street handing out tickets to an upcoming Sale home game. We also played hosts to Trafford MV, who were out in numbers. Two games were arranged and a big thanks to MV coach, Seamus, for refereeing one of the matches.
In the first game, Eccles fielded a young inexperienced team with two debutants, Sooryah and Joel plus Harry, Peggy and a “brimming with confidence” Michael.
We started, however, with the unwanted trait of sleeping through the first five minutes of the game as MV got off to a flyer running in three tries in quick succession. Michael took up the challenge and the game to MV jinking left and right, backwards and forwards, up and down (sorry getting carried away) looking for, and eventually finding, a gap in the MV defence to go over for his first try of the match.
MV hit back with more tries and it looked like the game was going away from Eccles. With the crowd roaring on the home side and stinging instructions of “run forwards not backwards” and “support the man” the Eccles individuals started to play as a team. Joel found some space on the outside, scoring in the corner for his first ever try. Harry barged through a myriad of MV defenders, took the tag and a little pop pass to the supporting Peggy allowed her to touch down (who says they don’t learn in training sessions!). Michael also added further tries to bring Eccles back into contention.
The second half was end to end, try for try stuff. Sooryah gliding over the turf (some say when he runs he makes no sound!) taking the ball to the opposition, Joel adding a second and Harry breaking the gain line on a number of occasions scoring two additional tries to boot. Even Owen came off the sidelines (from his hiding position) to tunnel under a number of defenders to get on the score sheet. Unfortunately Eccles lost by the odd try but a really spirited fight back after a really slow start.
A huge positive to take from the game was the support play. In periods the passing and support of tagged players was excellent and great to see that exercises done on the training ground are now starting to be visible in matches
Man of the match and therefore Star of the Week was a difficult decision. Michael outscored his peers and Harry was excellent going forward picking up his first ever hatrick in an Eccles shirt. However, my Star of the Week goes to Joel, two excellent tries on his debut plus taking onboard instruction at vital times improving his all round performance. Well done Joel!
Report on game 2 to follow when our roving reporter stops roving! Second thoughts … Eccles vacancy, wanted team reporter!
Next week is a training session at home at the usual time of 10:30
Finally, a reminder to all … there will be a Halloween party, including fancy dress and pumpkin competitions, directly after training next Sunday, 50p per child.