The weather remained our friend as we made the short journey up the A666 to play Bolton on a glorious autumnal morning.
I would like to say a big Eccles welcome to … not a new player but a new coach. Jaye will be joining the team and using the experience towards her Duke of Edinburgh award. (Jaye, I hope you remember everyone’s name as I will be testing you next week!)
The organisation was a little chaotic and I had to lay out the pitch as Bolton had no cones plus we also had the 2 minutes (or more like 45 seconds) silence in the middle of the game.
The biggest challenge of the day was laid down before the first game started. The squad was asked to remain silent and still in respect of the fallen heroes. Accept the challenge they did and the silence was impeccably observed, even by Michael. Well done and thank you.
Bolton had a turnout of 5 players and we had 8 so only 1 game of 3 segments was played. Eccles won the toss (well “leaf in the hand” selection) to start the game. It was obvious from the off that this would be a difficult game to referee (let alone play) as the Bolton side were constantly offside in their attempt to take tags and made no effort to retreat. This was forcing a few uncharacteristic errors allowing Bolton the ball and from which they scored three long range tries.
Eccles were playing the much better rugby and did get on the score sheet using excellent build up play allowing Finley to go in at the corner. From the kickoff Bolton were forced backwards towards their try line before a single player running the full length of the field to restore the 3 try advantage. The last word in this segment was from Eccles, with Michael dancing through the opposition after a number of phases of play to score.
The game halted for the 2 minutes silence
Segment 2 started and ended in the same fashion. Bolton were still playing one man rugby but each time scoring long range tries with the Eccles team unable to get the tags. Eccles continued with patient and excellent support play moving up the fields allowing sort range tries from Tyler, Sandy and Michael. This segment ended in a draw.
Segment 3 also followed the same pattern with tries for Flynn, Tyler and Sandy matching the 3 tries from Bolton.
STAR OF THE WEEK. The match this week was let down in the main by tagging (will be the focus of the next training session!!). The better overall rugby was played by Eccles. In the main I though the attitude was “off” this week some of the players WANTING to be subs from the start. Maybe some of the squad remembered the team from the Rossendale tournament, were intimidated and had seemingly lost the game before it had started. Staying on the attitude theme only three players, when asked, picked up the cones at the end and even more disappointingly one point blank refused. STAR OF THE WEEK goes to an excellent display in the game, getting on the scoresheet and overall attitude on the day … Well done Tyler.
Whilst normally I would pick up on the positives in any given situation, this week, I must express my disappointment in the selective passing exhibited on Sunday. Everyone in the squad is equal and the team, in order to succeed needs to play as one rather than passing to “mates” or specifically ignoring others. I will not allow this to take place and team selection may be altered to compensate.
On a positive note (for me anyway) I should be able to hand out the Christmas raffle tickets next Sunday!!!
Finally, would like to reiterate the pat on the back for the impeccably observed silence.
Next week is a training session, as usual 10:30 at Gorton St