U9s v Trafford, Sunday 3rd March 2013

A return fixture with Trafford on a beautiful blue-sky sunny Sunday morning, the boys were ready to put Sefton behind them with the warmth of the sun on their backs. The boys were keen to get a result against Trafford after narrowly missing out 3-4 in the away fixture earlier in the year.

It was a traditional slow start from Eccles, gifting Trafford with possession to concede an early try. However, during the next 20 minutes, the boys produced their best rugby of the season. Luke H brought the game level, with some great passing between Luke and Jake before Luke placed the ball over the line. Will B then picked up a loose ball at the half way line and raced away to put Eccles into a 2-1 lead.

Some great tackling from Joe, Connor and Will R typified the Eccles determination. Luke F and Matthew were making short runs to split the Trafford defence and Henry, Jack and Harry were passing the ball brilliantly. Robert, George and Jake were getting right in thick of it and were often found squashed under a heap of players from both teams. A great run from defence from Luke F almost brought a third try for Eccles, but he was tacked just 10 yards from the line. Luke H then picked up a loose ball in defence after a Trafford attack broke down, and he raced the full length of the pitch to make it 3-1.

The boys were really enjoying themselves at this point and were really working hard for each other in their determination to win the ball. Luke H completed a brilliant first half hat-trick, pouncing on a loose ball on the Trafford line to make it 4-1. Minutes later, Connor got in on the act, doing well to read the play between the Trafford backline, intercepting the ball and taking it over the line for Eccles’ fifth. There was time for a sixth try before half-time, Will B picking up the ball from defence and racing away to score with a trademark lightening fast individual run. A 6-1 scoreline was thoroughly deserved and wasnt in the least flattering. If anything, Eccles would have preferred for the game to continue, rather than break for half time.

The second half started in much the same way as the first, with Trafford scoring an early try. Eccles then never really seemed to recover and struggled to impose their authority from the first half. The neat passing, support play and composure that they showed earlier in the game was less apparent in the second and Trafford took advantage, scoring 4 tries in the second half to take the score to 6-5 with just minutes to play.

However, Eccles held one until the end, having done enough in the first half to win the match. Despite a hairy second half, their performance in the first half was excellent and showed just what the boys are capable of achieving. A fantastic team effort, with everyone playing their part magnificently. Joe was awarded with the Man of the Match trophy for his fantastic tackling and running support play.

Match Result: Eccles 6 v 5 Trafford

Match Squad: Joe, Jake, Will B, Will R, Luke F, Connor, Matthew, Harry, Robert, Jack, George, Luke H, Henry.