So near yet so far as Clitheroe Colts lose out to a strong Eccles Colts side
By Bob Wilkinson
A gripping match took place at Littlemoor with Eccles taking home to spoils in a close fought game
After an exciting league season we're coming to the end and with many more games like this I'll have no finger nails left!
Eccles have been consistent throughout the season and despite as few hiccups have proven to be a free-scoring side who play rugby the right way. That view didn't change one bit as they beat Clitheroe Colts by a single point, 18 to 17.
Clitheroe started really well and had the best of the opening exchanges. Forwards secured the rucks well, in fact turned over a couple, and a penalty saw Clitheroe 3-0 up until the 16th minute. Eccles found some space through the middle and hooked up well down the left as their flying winger first juggled then gathered the ball before dotting down on the left.
Five minutes later, Clitheroe retook the lead. After a patient build-up, with the forwards combining well to drive up into the red zone, Wilkinson found a small gap and popped the ball to Duck who scythed through to score a great try. With the extras added, Clitheroe were 10-5 to the good. An Eccles penalty reduced the deficit to 3 at 10-8, and soon after, the half time whistle was blown.
With the home team playing well, but slightly within themselves from an attacking standpoint, they just had to continue along the same lines for 35 minutes to take the win. Eccles had other ideas. They have speed from half back through centre to wing and used it well in combining for their second try, which was converted. A penalty 6 minutes later took Eccles out into an 8-point lead and Clitheroe were clearly on the back foot. That said, they weren't deterred and after some forward work of true grit, the Maroon & Golds advanced into the Eccles 22 and started battering the line. Eventually, the pressure told and Enion crashed over. Wilkinson added the extras and the score was 17-18 in Eccles' favour.
What would normally happen is that the side leading defends their lead but in the case of the last 10 minutes, it was Eccles who controlled the majority of the game. One brief chance came and went as Clitheroe had an attacking line out 40 yards out but it was quickly snuffed out by Eccles and the game was theirs. Man of the match, as chosen by the opposition, was Lucas Wright for his tenacity around the ruck and scrum but it must be added that the majority of players put a good shift in- well done lads.
Well done to Eccles; they are a good rugby side in this league and have proven to be just that bit better over the two games played betwen these two sides. Maybe there's a third game on the horizon as the league cup fixtures loom in the distance.... what a treat that will be.
First up though is Northwich, again at Littlemoor, next Sunday, KO 14:00. With an open bar and the promise of some thoroughly entertaining rugby just as we had here, who could resist a Sunday afternoon of Colts rugby.... see you next week.