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Eccleshall turn up heat in hard-fought win

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

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ECCLESHALL 1st XVcontinued their up turn in fortunes with a hard earned 28-14 away victory over a Yardley and District on Saturday.

When Eccleshall arrived to see standing water on large parts of the pitch, they knew that it was not a day for running rugby, more a day for hard work and strong tackling.

Yardley started the better of the two teams and spent most of the first quarter camped in the Eccleshall half but the Eccleshall defence kept their strong forwards at bay.

Following some big clearance kicks from fly half Tom Hodgkinson, Eccleshall were finally able to get out of their own half and, after some good ball carrying from second row Johnny Sexton, the home side were penalised and Hodgkinson stepped up and slotted a penalty to give his side a 3-0 lead.

Following the restart, Eccleshall were soon back in the Yardley half and captain Nick Hulse broke through the home defensive line and off-loaded to flanker Simon Carr, who ran in from 30 yards to score the first try of the day and his third try in as many games. Hodgkinson converted to give Eccleshall a 10-0 lead.

With ten minutes to go before the break, winger Joel Williams gathered a well placed grubber kick and dived over the Yardley line to score Eccleshall’s second try of the game.

The try was again converted by Hodgkinson to give the visitors a 17-0 interval advantage.

Yardley were obviously given a strong half time team talk as they started the second half well and soon reduced the deficit to just three points, as their forwards powered over for two tries which were both converted.   

Fortunately, Eccleshall were able to extend their lead to six points when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which again Hodgkinson kicked cleanly through the uprights.  

While the score remained within a converted try it was clear the final 15 minutes would be a tense affair.

Both sides had opportunities to score but the defensive lines stayed intact, that was until veteran Eccleshall number 8 Alain Bishton crashed over from ten yards to score Eccleshall’s third try of the afternoon.

Hodgkinson’s trusty boot let him down on this occasion but he was soon was able to extend Eccleshall’s lead to 14 points when again Yardley were penalised at the breakdown and a penalty was awarded.

As the final whistle went, Eccleshall celebrated their second league win in a row and their third league victory of the season.

The next two weeks sees the Baden Hall-based side take on third place Willenhall and second bottom Cleobury Mortimer at home, both Midlands 3 West (North) fixtures.

Eccleshall 2nd XV travelled to HMP Brinsford and chalked up a win againstthe young offenders and the u15s enjoyed a home win against Longton, running out  39-7 victors with a hat trick of tries from Tom Kenny.    

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