A LATE rally left Eccleshall 1st XV just short of high-flying neighbours Newcastle in the Midlands 3 West (North) section on Saturday.
In what was a fiercely contested local derby Eccleshall fly half Tom Hodgkinson scored a well-worked try, involving most of the Eccleshall team, with five minutes remaining to put the home side within a converted try of a hard earned draw.
However, good defence from the visitors left the Baden Hall based side rueing missed opportunities in the first half.
With a personal tally of 18 points Hodgkinson had kept the scoreboard ticking over in the first half with three penalties as the home side trailed 17-9. Newcastle extended their lead early in the second half and Eccleshall soon found themselves 14 points down as they entered the final quarter.
Good carrying from captain Nick Hulse and centre’s Mark Howells and Chris Whalley kept Eccleshall camped in the visitors’ half.
An incisive run by Hulse pierced the Newcastle defence and led to winger James Denning scoring Eccleshall’s first try of the day converted by Hodgkinson.
Eccleshall 2nd XV ran out well deserved 39-13 winners against Newcastle to retain their unbeaten tag this year. The Baden Hall side produced a number of well-worked team tries to secure an impressive victory.
Meanwhile, Eccleshall 3rd XV also recorded another victory as they ran out 36-5 winners at Cannock. Buoyed by the addition of a number of this year’s successful senior colts team the Eccleshall side were able to outplay their more experienced opponents.