Under 16’s Friendly: Eccles – 14 Sedgley Park -13

On a sunny September day the Sedgley Tigers returned to Gorton Street to revenge lasts seasons defeat. The Tigers looked well turned out and ready to get into the action, but were evenly matched by Eccles with Keaton appearing to be tackling even whilst in possession , Dean & Goso jumping for the ball in the line outs and Jack booting the ball up field. Sedgley scored the first 3 penalty points with a successful kick , after the referee decided Eccles had made a handling error. Following a few more evenly matched attacks from both sides a spate of good handling from the Tigers led to their winger scoring a try on the far side (5pts) but they failed to convert 0 to 8. Following a half time team talk and a few home truths from the coaches play resumed , with a penalty to Sedgley which wasn’t converted still 0 to 8. Then the team talk seemed to kick in and Eccles began to believe in themselves sending Keaton on a run , who was stopped only after the fifth Tiger had joined in to take him down. Eccles had several substitutions but everyone seemed to understand they needed to play their part for the team , especially when (following an incident which involved most of both teams players ) Eccles had 2 players yellow carded and off the pitch for 10 mins. Sedgley took advantage of the disruption and ran over for the 2 nd try, but failed to convert 0  to 13. Eccles came back ,appearing to go over the line but no they had to wait , Daniel Wilson leading a drive supported by Paddy and other forwards seemed to be working together but they didn’t make the line(yet) Cameron , Dean , Goso, Wiggo, Bob , Daniel  driving on with a move straight from the training field, passed out onto the backs for Keaton to score and Jack to convert , 7 – 13 game on . Both teams showed attacking play but with not much time left, Eccles were doing ok in the scrums and line outs but needed one last push, then Sedgley won the scrum on the 5 yard line and kicked down field, Ivan playing full back got the ball and was off on one of his runs, Eccles sensed time was running out and  the backs started  passing the ball down the line , a pass from Steven sent Keaton heading for the line , who off-loaded to Jordan who got over the line on the far side 12-13 leaving a tricky conversion from 20 metres plus, into the wind ( I couldn’t look), but I heard the cheers and knew Jack had done it! 14-13! Yay…but still with 90 tense seconds to play. Then thankfully it was full time. A mums’ summary: An evenly matched contest, but Eccles showed that their forwards had structure and a plan , the backs were linking up well we each other and the forwards, players were subbed strategically and for injuries but the commitment was continuous resulting in a well deserved win against worthy opponents once again.