Sunday 14th April. Widnes RUFC. Lancashire Colts U18 Trophy Final.
Three tries and a strong second half performance on Sunday from the Eccles Senior Colts was not enough to overcome the combined team of Manchester and Stockport Rugby Clubs who went on to lift the County Colts U18s Trophy with a 34 – 17 win. The scoreline did not reflect the effort expended by the Eccles colts who did the club proud with their attempt to fight back from the early set back of going 12 points behind in the opening 12 minutes of the match.
Within 3 minutes of the kick off, Makos were 7-0 up and by 12 minutes they had added a second try, scored down the wings with Eccles failing to number up and react quick enough to cover the threat out wide. From the restart Eccles responded, building pressure through phases and at 18 mins Prop Josh Green broke through the well-drilled Makos defence to score a try in the left corner 5-12. However, Eccles continued to squander opportunities and possession inside the opposition 22, with Makos competing faster at the breakdown and running in two more tries, typifying first-half play being breaks from deep, following a failed Eccles attack. HT 5-26.
The half time break identified issues and skullduggery at the line out. Eccles began the second half with new resolve. Persistence and teamwork resulted in a Try by Harry Candland 26-12. Momentum was now with Eccles who increased the pressure on Makos with Fly-Half Alex Speakman breaking through the midfield to outpace the defence to score in the corner to take the score to 26-17. The crowd was loud. The fightback was on. Keiron Reed, Matty Lee, Dan Aspinall, James Fletcher all made valiant efforts to break the line – Josh Green’s outstanding infatigable enthusiasm to drive forward earned him a Man Of The Match performance from his coaches. With 15 minutes remaining a Yellow for Shea for ‘failing to release the ball’ put Eccles at a disadvantage but failed to reduce their tenacity or purpose. Eccles’ pressing for points presented Makos with opportunities to counter attack, the final score of the game resulting from an Eccles overkick to the flanks, gifting possession to the Makos winger to run 80m to score at the other end under the sticks, against the run of play.
The second half determination and spirit of the Eccles team was applauded by supporters of both sides. The forwards pounded away for sustained periods but despite the belief and the toil, Eccles struggled to find the space to release their backs, and were never able to close the early 12-point advantage. Congratulations and credit to Makos who started well and succeeded in maintaining their lead to the end. FT 34-17.
A BIG THANK YOU to all the travelling support and thanks to Marie for putting up with the colts on their return to the club! Not the result we were hoping for, but a memorable day made special by everyone who made the effort to be there.
Onwards. The Senior Colts have another opportunity to achieve a cup ‘Double’ when they face Ormskirk in the Colts Plate Final, at Heaton Moor RUFC, Sunday 5th May, 11.30am KO.