ECCLESHALL 1st XV emerged victorious from a crucial bottom of the table clash against Cleobury Mortimer.
The Baden Hall outfit ran out convincing 36-6 winners, scoring six tries in a win that will go a long way to securing their place in Midlands 3 West (North).
Eccleshall started well and were soon camped in the visitors half. Following good quick ruck ball, centre Chris Whalley crashed through the Cleobury defence to score his and Eccleshall’s first points of the day, a try which was converted by fly half Tom Hodgkinson.
From the restart it was clear that Eccleshall wanted to play an expansive game as scrum half Simon Howland took every opportunity to get the Eccleshall backline in to the action, It was a tactic that was well rewarded when Whalley again broke a number of tackles on his way to scoring his second try of the game, to give the home side a 12 -0 lead after 15 minutes.
Eccleshall’s second try spurred the visitors in to action. Using their forwards to great effect they rumbled up in to the Eccleshall half where the home side infringed and the Cleobury fly half duly kick their first penalty of the game through the uprights.
A reinvigorated Cleobury were soon back in the Eccleshall 22 and again the home side were adjudged to have infringed at the breakdown, and the resulting penalty was a good one and the score narrowed to 12-6 with 15 minutes of the half remaining.
From the restart Eccleshall looked to run the ball wide and wingers James Denning and Mikey Carr were testing the Cleobury defence. It was Denning who kicked a loose ball through which was gathered by outside centre Alex Malkin and placed at the base of a post to score Eccleshall’s third try which was converted by Hodgkinson.
Eccleshall were keen to secure a four try bonus point and were soon back in the opposition 22 where strong carrying from props Alex Parker and Bobby Cheadle resulted in good quick ball being passed out wide and 2nd row Johnny Sexton crashed over on the stroke of half time to score Eccleshall’s fourth try.
The second half saw most of the play between the two 22s as Cleobury forwards tried to get their team back in to the game but Eccleshall defence in this half was more disciplined.
In the final quarter Eccleshall secured a turn over and were able to carry the ball in to the opposition half and, following some straight running from captain Nick Hulse and flanker Jake Brown, Hodgkinson evaded a number of tackles to score under the posts. The try was converted by full back Sam Ward.
It was Ward who was on the score sheet again as the final whistle approached.
Eccleshall were again well positioned in centre field and following some quick ball at the break down it was spun wide and full back Ward strolled over to score the final points of the game. This Saturday, Eccleshall visit Stourbridge Lions (2.15pm).