Well you’ve heard of The Magnificent 7 and The Dirty Dozen, but how about Borrett’s Heroic Dozen, as in a Baker’s. With the season progressing and unavailability’s mounting Eccles senior colts travelled away to Vale of Lune with a squad size of 17 men. The only problem was one had an arm in a sling, one a hand in plaster, one still suffering from concussion and still not sure of the time of day, and another up before the beak and so unable to play. This left a playing team size of 13 men, most of which were feeling very delicate from the party of the night before. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, it’s times like this that the true character of individuals come out, and an abundance of character we truly saw.
For some reason Lancaster has a road system which defies all logic and resulted in the Eccles team bus arriving with less than 30 minutes to kick off. Thankfully the referee was held up in the same traffic chaos and arrived even later. This gave the Eccles team a bit more time to organise themselves.
With Eccles fielding a team of 13 the home side had to drop down to 14 players but still giving them a numerical advantage. However from the very start of play you would not have thought Eccles had a disadvantage as they took the game to the home side and never let up. With all the team getting stuck in, supporting and helping each other, it was a pleasure to watch.
Yet despite all the good work being put in by the Eccles players the home side were able to occasionally make the extra man tell and it was no surprise to see then score an unconverted try. The first half continued with both sides making inroads into each other’s halves but with no resultant score. Then as the half time approached, the almost Birthday Boy, Matt Parkinson decided he wanted to join his mates in the A & E ward and went off with a twisted ankle. This made it 13 v 12 players. The Eccles response to this further case of adversity was excellent as they kept up the high work rate and were rewarded with a Reece James try on the stroke of half time.
Half time score 5 – 5.
The second half did not start well for Eccles as the home side were again able to use the extra man and score in the corner. However the rest of the game all belonged to Eccles as they came back in style playing some of the best rugby of their season. First we had Wes Harrison going through a gap and burning off all the defensive cover to score. Then two tries by James Wright following good play by the forwards, the second of which Reece James converted. Then on the stroke of full time Jordan O’Neil ran half the length of the pitch, taking on all comers, to score in the corner. Not bad for a second row.
This made it a final score of 10 – 27 and all quite rightly felt a sense of pride and achievement. Well done to all, including the travelling support, great team spirit, great commitment and immense character to come back from going behind, twice.