Village Spartans 2nd 0 v Eccles 3rd 36 10/09/2016

The thirds travelled to Sale and in perfect conditions triumphed with the bonus of a clean sheet in defence to go top of the league table mind you only two games played and numerous stiff challenges ahead. It took a while for Eccles to settle into the match and set the pattern for the half which saw the home defending valiantly but creating little in attack . The opening score came after Eccles had been stripped off the ball whilst on the offensive but rob it back in the first tackle counter with centre Pete Jones bursting through to touch down .Fellow centre Lee Murphy soon added a second try racing through the outside channel to score with Sam Thompson playing as hooker added the conversion . Any thoughts of a points avalanche disappeared despite the near total Eccles dominance of territory as changes were wasted for the lack of direct running and few slack passes.The only meaningful scoring chance  from the home side came close to half time when an Eccles attack broke down and a Spartan raced back with the ball through the visitors line only to be just about tap tackled by Murphy with a clear line ahead the regathered ball set in train an Eccles which nearly yielded a try only for Lenny McCarthy to suffer the same fate .The 12-0 half time lead was probably a couple of tries short of the tally the Eccles possession merited and it was surely ironic that as Spartans upped their game and became more competitive in the second period Eccles scored more points.  .It took a marvellous break from scrum half  Tom Wilson who weaved way 40 metres through home defence for fine solo try to reignite the thirds effort.Jones helped himself to a second try racing under the posts after a neat series of phases of possession had  set up the opportunity with Thompson adding the extras. The home side scented a chance to score as some wayward kicking instead of running (players tiring in the heat) gave them more possession but once more Eccles broke away with ball ending up with Danny Rice who just managed to force his way over in the corner and Matt Pass hitting the post with the conversion. Another Eccles attack saw a penalty given in the home 22 and from the resultant play the ball was switched from the blind side to the open field for Jones to complete his hat trick  .The last quarter saw Spartans really pressure the home line and it took a lot of effort some of it last gasp to achieve that clean sheet .Pete thought he had got man of the match for he tries but that only so that he got up for the post match beer challenge  it went to Jason Davies for putting his hand up to play in the forwards and put in the effort required. No duffers award again but debutant Ben Prince raised a laugh as he was comprehensively beaten hands down as he tired to out banter the  the home president in the bar