Decimated by injuries, off on tour went others (one a deserting son) and for some a holiday with the misses. 100 miles up the M6 is not the best idea for an Easter Saturday. But Gaz got together 19 men who were up for the cause. A bus stuffed with beer and sarnies is all it takes with these lads, who said were not a professional club. To secure promotion Eccles needed 8 points from the remaining 3 games, all away, it was therefore paramount that only the maximum of effort from all would suffice.
The game started with the bus still in the legs of some of the Eccles players and too many sarnies in the bellies of the others. This gave the initiative to the home side who gradually established a 12 point lead with 2 tries, one being converted. Eccles responded with a try of their own with a series of forward drives Danny Hollawood went over to put Eccles on the board. Affronted by the audacity of the visiting team to score, Penrith responded with another converted try just before half time to extend their lead to 19 – 5.
Now it would be easy at this point to throw the towel in and put it all down as a bad day at the office, we all knew it was going to be a hard call. One motorway bridge too far. But with the spirit of the Parachute Regiment and defeat staring them in the face the lads picked themselves up and responded in style. What is it the USMC say when asked to retreat? Hell No, we only just got here. And so it was that the 19 Eccles men rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in refusing to take one more backward step.
With a sense of determination the Eccles forwards started to dominate proceedings and the hard work being put in by all was eventually rewarded with a try by Andy Frost following a move from the back of the scrum. Score 19 – 10. Again the call was made, more effort from all please, and again the response came back in the affirmative. More drives and runs by the Eccles players saw the visiting lads camped on the home side’s try line. A series of pick and goes mixed with a wild epidemic of white line fever wasn’t helping and so the ball was spun wide to Danny Hollawood on the wing who realised he was still a forward and went charging in again only to be stopped short. But before he went down he managed to flip the ball back and Will Parkinson, not wanting to be out done by his younger brother (reference to previous colts report there), dived to catch the ball in mid air and fall over to score. His roar as he got up reverberated around the local mountains. Too Quite, Mute, Hell No, he’s only just started. Score 19 – 15.
Things were now starting to get a bit tasty, with hard tackles going in and players leaving the pitch with concussion. Not being prepared to be intimidated the Eccles players responded the only way they can and played rugby. Approaching the final whistle and all at stake the ball was moved in hands resulting in a break by Chris Wilson who then moved it inside to Sandy Brunt who in turn passed to Danny Hollawood who went over to give Eccles the slenderest of leads. The conversion was made good by Tom Othick who is doing all he can to win the hand of the young fair Miss Haymer. Score 19 – 22.
With the temperature of the game rising to breaking point the final whistle was blown and all of the Eccles party rejoiced. Well done to all who gave their best and a bit more. Also big thanks to Danny’s mate, Matt who turned up with his boots but was not needed.
(So with apologies to the Bard this time.)
And Eccles players now-a-bed on tour, shall think themselves accurs'd they were not there, and hold their manhoods cheap, while anyone speaks that fought with the Seconds on that Easter Saturday.
Where I take 700 words, and stole many, Gaz put it in 3, “It was Awesome”.
Sandbach 2 v Rossendale 2
See below photo of the Sandbach celebration after winning the Division 1 title and being promoted to the Premier League
The Raging Bull NW Leagues Cheshire Cakes Div 2 South Whitchurch 2nd XV 31 pts v 34 pts Broughton Park 3rd XV
An ecstatic Alan Marsland reports !!!!
2013-04-06 The Raging Bull NW Leagues Div. 4 North Wigan 3rd XV 36pts v 19 pts Vale of Lune 4th XV
A much tighter game than the score might suggest !!!
Some great pictures once again from Vales' Chief Phtographer Tony North !!
After losing 133 pts to Nil in recent game Vale keep the score in this, the only game today in the Leagues to only 96 pts.
Quote of the day " Steven Briggs Vale's scrum half - What was the score today Ref ?? Ref Shaun Mcglue " 96 pts to 3 pts !! Feels like a win Sir today !!! Thanks for a good game .
Vale come up against an efficient Wilmslow side !!!
Pictures by David Pyke Wilmslow !!!