Ok, so I might be a soft southern shandy drinker, but I defy anyone to tell me that wasn’t freezing on Sunday. Despite the bitter cold, both the U7s and U8s were in good spirits and ready to take on our opponents for the day, Broughton Park. This week, I had the pleasure of watching one of our U8 teams who were to be playing two ‘six-a-side’ matches with no subs. The team under my watchful eye consisted of Josh, Ben W, Zac, Lewis, Guy and Harry. Prior to the game I had been watching Martin working with the U8s on taking the ball at speed and was keen to see how they might incorporate this into their attack play against a team that is known for being well drilled and organised.
I’m pleased to say that from the start, Eccles looked like they’d had their weetabix and wasted no time turning on the attacking pressure, giving the opposition no time to settle into a rhythm. Ben was the first to open the scoring with a fine arching run into the right corner. Broughton tried to rally themselves, but good defensive work meant that the ball was turned over to Eccles on the halfway line. As hoped from Martin’s earlier drills, Lewis took the ball at pace and blasted a hole in the Broughton defence to score. Josh was also getting in on the ‘blasting’ action and made a number of great runs down the left, penetrating deep into the defence, creating opportunities for the others to score.
Zac was defending well and pressurising the Broughton attack down their preferred right wing and Guy was relentless taking tag after tag. Broughton made some attempt at responding with a few tries, but Eccles continued to outplay them with wave after wave of attack play, culminating in tries coming from the lightening speed and agility of Guy, Terminator determination from Zac, chatterbox power from Harry and slippery skill from Ben. My moment of the first match came after Broughton stole the ball near their try line and broke through the Eccles’ and seemed to be home and dry for the score. So convinced was I that they were about to score, that I’d looked down to add a Broughton try to my notes, when I heard a shout, only to see that somehow Guy had gotten back and taken the tag right in front of the Eccles try line!
Overall we were just too classy for them. Brilliant play from all and an excellent team performance.
Finished: Eccles 12 Broughton Park 7
Ben W (3), Lewis (4), Zac (1), Harry (2), Guy (2)
The second game was a much closer affair, which for the most part saw both sides exchanging try for try. Eccles continued taking the ball at pace, but the Broughton defence, to their credit, was outstanding, pressing extremely quickly from restarts and forcing errors. Ben and Josh were using their speed to cause trouble down the wings and persistence paid off with a try from Josh. Harry, who was having a great game also added to the score line with a determined run through the middle. Lewis and Zac were really enjoying using their intimidating size and power and both scored tries between them. Guy continued with his ‘tagathon’ approach from the first match, and despite the Broughton team having some skilled players, Eccles were resolute in their on-going defence.
The game remained neck and neck until the last couple of minutes when Broughton were able to capitalise on some defensive uncertainty, enabling them to steal the lead. Despite the loss, I think we had the better all-round team performance with some great support play and handling. In fact, I can genuinely only remember a couple of dropped balls throughout the whole match. Well done boys, you played really well.
Finished: Eccles 8 Broughton Park 10
Lewis (4), Zac (1), Josh (1), Guy (1), Harry (1)
Star of the week: I’m not going to pick one person because they were all stars and all played really well.
Next week is a training session at Gorton Street, usual time of 10:30 which will be followed by the Christmas party so may be an idea to bring a change of clothes.
See you next week
Note: Based on the above report and the number of tries scored in both games, I have awarded the STAR OF THE WEEK to Lewis. Well done!