SATURDAY 11 / SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER MATCH REPORTS
Eccles 22-40 West Park St Helens
Eccles 67-0 Manchester
U18 SENIOR COLTS
Kirkby Lonsdale 36-12 Eccles
Back to Earth.
Our first away match of the campaign was always going to be a tough one, but we had a coach booked and the lads were looking forward to the full ‘Rugby Travel Experience’. Kirkby had a squad of 22, while their request for an earlier 12:30 start had excluded 3 of our lads leaving us with just 14 players, and only 4 of them backs.
Kirkby took the initiative and pinned us into our 22 with solid backs’ moves, and only strong defence stopped them taking an early lead.
20 minutes in Eccles got their best opportunity of the half, when a box kick from Jake went over the Kirkby line with Henry in pursuit. Henry kicked the ball on, but was grabbed around the neck by the last defender while chasing his kick. Eccles’ hopes for a penalty try were dashed and a simple penalty was awarded. WillB went for the 3 points, but twisted his knee in the run up and hit the post.
In the confusion that followed the miss Kirkby executed a fine backs’ move and went over for the first try of the game.
Shortly before the break Eccles received a yellow card for too many off-sides and Kirkby used their advantage to score again and go to halftime 12:0 up. After the restart Kirkby again made use of the extra numbers claiming a third try. With George returning from the bin Eccles had a better 20 minutes with Henry scoring an excellent try which WillB converted to make it 17:7.
The sun was out, our lads were tiring and Kirkby’s 8 rolling subs gave them a serious advantage. This led to a poor 8 minutes where Kirby’s backs ran over 3 soft tries to take 36:7 lead.
Eccles regrouped and started to reapply the pressure. This led to more frustration from Kirkby who eventually had a player red carded for dangerous play in the ruck. Eccles kicked from this to the 10yd line, claimed the lineout (the only area where Eccles controlled the game) and mauled over for their second try.
36:12 was a disappointing scoreline which could easily have been improved with a couple of extra backs, or if Henrys first half run hadn’t been curtailed. Hopefully we will meet again with a full squad!
Thanks must be given to Kirkby for joining us in a minute’s silence before the Kick Off to remember Gail Russell, mother of our redoubtable prop Harvey, who was taken suddenly by cancer a few days before the match.
Match Captain: Thomas C
Man of the Match: Billy, for working so hard over the entire pitch.
Report by Andy Connell, Eccles RFC U18 Colts Manager
21’ 5-0 TRY Kirkby
33’ 12-0 TRY & Conv Kirkby
35’ HT 12-0
36’ 17-0 TRY Kirkby
45’ 17-7 TRY Henry Conv Will B
56’ 24-7 TRY & Conv Kirkby
58’ 31-7 TRY & Conv Kirkby
64’ 36-7 TRY & Conv Kirkby
70’ 36-12 TRY George
70’ FT 36-12.
U17 JUNIOR COLTS Eccles 58-55 Broughton Park & Trafford MV
The most remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable match took place on Sunday for the U17s first game on the first team pitch; the lads certainly rose to the occasion. A majority of colts teams are now struggling for numbers in this post Covid era and Eccles welcomed a newly combined team of Trafford Metro Vics and Broughton Park. Fortunately they very kindly loaned 3 players to Eccles to ensure we could play a competitve 12 a side game which in turn created a truly pulsating ‘Super 12’ encounter. Throughout the 80 minutes the match ebbed and flowed equally and as one side scored the other almost immediately responded.
Within 10 minutes TMV/Broughton had scored two quick tries but Matthew Reed and Alex Strother (who also had his kicking boots on) brought the scores back on track but by half time four quick tries ensured Eccles went into the break 33-24 down. Following an inspiring half time talk from assistant coach Matt the Eccles boys came out with the bit really between their teeth. Big hits by Akeal Stewart and Joe Mountcastle inspired the team to keep answering scores by the visitors. A brilliant second half hat trick from Charlie Cox and amazing solo tries from Matthew, Luke and Finnley ensured that Eccles remained in the game going toe to toe with the opposition like heavy weight boxers. It was probably the best performance and game for the spectators in many years, as Eccles finally closed the game 58 to 55 winners. Congratulations to both teams for an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable game of rugby.
U16 Ormskirk 7-71 Eccles
Eccles under 16’s made the journey over to Ormskirk on Sunday to take on a developing Ormskirk side with a 20-man squad hoping to continue where they left off following victory over Heaton Moor in the last game.
Eccles didn’t take long to get into their work and following some strong defence Jack C put some excellent pressure on the kicker when Ormskirk tried to clear their lines. Eccles gathered the ball and Joe threw an outrageous dummy to go in under the posts giving Jack L an easy kick to make the score 0-7.
Eccles continued to dominate and almost scored a second try straight away but dropped the ball near the line which allowed Ormskirk a period of possession although more tenacious defence forced the knock on. From the subsequent scrum Joe picked the ball cleanly and fed Jack L who this time went over himself and added the 2 points to make it 0-14.
Max took the restart expertly and carried the ball back into the Ormskirk defensive line. Eccles were unlucky when Raff was denied a certain try when the referee awarded a penalty for crossing , the next score wasn’t far away when the penalty kick didn’t find touch and Joe collected and returned the ball aggressively which resulted in a penalty for a high tackle, from the line out that followed Jake dived over the line innthe corner and Jack narrowly failed to add the conversion making the score 0-19.
The restart was gathered by Harry who retained the ball and James cut through the defence, Jack L carried on the momentum by picking the right pass to Lucas who showed the cover defence a clean pair of heels to score under the posts 0-26. A great team try with 20 mins played.
The second third of the game saw the introduction of the second pair of Eccles props and it didn’t take long for the next score when James broke through again and a flowing move allowed Leighton to go over in the corner, Jack added the extras from the tricky angle to make it 0-33.
Eccles were really finding their stride now and certain try was ruled out due to a forward pass but this only delayed the inevitable when Matt worked hard to turn the ball over , Heath made inroads through the defence and Jack C again put the try on a plate for Jack L who strode in for this second to move the score to 0-40.
Eccles continued to dominate from the restart and a couple of kicks from Joe kept the pressure on the home side in their own half which again forced the error allowing another set move from an Eccles scrum when Heath fed Leighton who again scored in the corner 0-47. The final score of this 20 minute period came when Jack L produced a lovely flick pass to Joe D who sped over giving Jack L another straightforward kick 0-54.
The Eccles props were rotated again for the final 20 mins with Abraham and Chayse entering the fray. Cael and Josh moved over to the Ormskirk side to beef up their front line and it didn’t take long for Cael to take the game to his Eccles teammates with a strong drive which resulted in a penalty and lineout to Ormskirk giving them good field position although this was short lived as Eccles turned the ball over again through some excellent defence.
Matt H seemed surprised at the amount of space he was given following a dummy and proceeded to score next to the posts although the kick was unsuccessful 0-59. Jack C continued his excellent form setting up yet another try for teammate Jack L who again romped over to complete his hattrick following some nice passing and added the extras to make it 0-66/
Eccles almost scored straight from the kick off when more excellent passing opened up the home defence but a little over eagerness meant the ball went to ground giving Ormskirk the chance to regroup. The respite was short lived though when Ormskirk kicked deep to Leighton who returned the ball at pace and Joe D completed the scoring in the corner to also complete his hattrick 0-71.
The final try of the game deservedly went to Ormskirk who despite the score line kept driving forward, committing tackles and never let their heads drop and went over in front of the posts with the final play of the game , the extras were added to make the final score Ormskirk 7 – 71 Eccles
Eccles will face tougher tests this season but they maintained their discipline and processes to deliver a comprehensive performance which will stand them in good stead for their next test.
B Court, J Harrison, M Allcroft, J Edwards , H Gregory, M Houghton, J Costello, J Lightbown, J Davies , L Reeveley, R Pickavance , H Clark, M Gardiner, E Glynn, L Strand. O Fleming, C Curran, J Murphy, C Quigley, A Moncada.