ECCLESHALL 1ST XV 19 WEDNESBURY 1ST XV 27
ECCLESHALL 1st XV had hoped a new year would signal an upturn in fortunes, but they went down at home to Wednesbury on Saturday.
The Baden Hall outfit came up short in this latest Midland 3 West (North) fixture against a strong and physical Wednesbury side.
Eccleshall spent the opening 15 minutes camped in their own 22 and despite some crunching defensive tackling from Chris Whalley and captain Nick Hulse were finally driven over their own line.
Keen to make amends, Eccleshall struck back almost immedikately with a converted try of their own to level the scores through fly half Tom Hodkinson who also added the extra points.
The home side started to play their expansive game and moved ahead 14-7 thanks to a fine solo try from full back Sam Ward who danced through the Wednesbury defence, Hodkinson converting.
By half-time, Wednesbury had levelled with a converted try after Eccleshall were penalised twice in quick succession and found themselves under their own posts.
In the second half, Eccleshall went down to 14 men, with Alan Bishton sin- binned, but the scores remained level as the game moved into the final quarter.
With Eccleshall back up to 15 players, Wednesbury struck again with two penalties for a 20-14 lead.
A converted try soon followed from the visitors, before Eccleshall finished strongly with an unconverted try from Bishton, after good work by loose forwards Tom O’Mara and Simon Carr. This Saturday, Eccleshall entertain high flying Bloxwich.