A cold, icy, very muddy post-snow field was the uninviting scene for a long 60 mile round trip to Sefton in Knotty Ash. The U9s braved the cold and put up a fight against the Diddy men of Sefton, but there was little laughter to be had on a day where the boys fell short against their inspired opponents.
Sefton started strongly and it was clear very early in the match that they meant business. Luke H picked up the ball from defence and rang towards the wing at pace – a great tackle from a Sefton player sent Luke sprawling into the ground, covering him head to toe in mud! All credit to Luke that he wasnt put off frrom competing for the rest of the game.
Sefton showed their strength early on, racing into a 3-0 lead. Eccles then got a hold in the game and kept Sefton at bay. Then, right on the stroke of half time, Will B pulled a great try back for Eccles, giving the scoreline some respectability and the boys some hope for the second half.
By that time, all the boys were caked in mud, knees, hands and faces, and the cold was starting to take hold. Even the parents on the touchline were wearing extra layers and tried to gee the boys up with some encouragement.
The second half started with another try from Sefton. Then, with Sefton pushing for a fifth, Will B intercepted the ball between 2 Sefton players on the half way line and raced away like the wind to claw Eccles back into the game at 2-4. However, by this time, the Eccles boys were struggling with the wintery conditions, and Will’s second try only seemed to anger Sefton into taking action. The next 10 minutes saw some great driving play from Sefton, and along with some very dubious referring decisions, Sefton took the game away from Eccles with 5 tries to make the score 2-9.
Eccles carried on, with Harry, Henry, Connor and Matthew all taking knocks in their attempts to stifle the Sefton attacks. Duncan typified another powerful performance with a driving score at the death to make it 3-9. Even then, there was time for 2 last minute tries from Sefton to finish the game off 3-11.
It was a hard game and one that the boys were no doubt glad to see the back of. The thought of clubhouse chips and a hot bath soon cheered them up again. Well done to the boys for giving their all in a very difficult match, which I’m sure will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season. Will B was awarded with the Man of the Man trophy for his 2 great tries.
Match Result: Sefton 11 v 3 Eccles
Match Squad: Connor, Jake, Joe, Jack, Duncan, Matthew, Luke F, Luke H, George, Will B, Finley