Dec 19 2013 Ormskirk Advertiser
Jack Kelly trying to run out of defence
TARLETON FIRSTS had another tough encounter on Saturday - losing 15-6 to Eccles..
The weather wasn’t going to allow for expansive rugby with gale force winds and driving rain the order of the day but despite this an enthralling game ensued.
Tarleton yet again found themselves defending for large parts of the game but they are a hard nut to crack and playing with the wind in the first half they made Eccles work hard to keep their line safe. Tarleton were awarded a penalty after seven minutes but this was just wide of the posts and it was the first clear chance for either side to score in the first half hour of the game.
Tarleton’s scrum for the second week in a row was being pushed back in the set-piece and so any ball Tarleton got was from a scrum going backwards and subsequently meant that the backs had to take the ball flat rather than on the burst and Eccles dealt with their runs quite easily.
Eccles couldn’t kick clear from their half due to the gales blowing and so they played a pick and go game that meant Tarleton’s tackle count was extremely high.
Eccles opened the scoring from a five metre scrum that saw the ball picked up by the No. 8 and popped inside to an Eccles runner who crashed over to score.
This seemed to galvanise Tarleton a bit and they put some good periods of play together which resulted in 2 penalties that Max Kelly slotted to give Tarleton a 6-5 half time lead.
The second half saw more of the same from Eccles and with the benefit of the wind spent most of the half camped on Tarleton’s line. A penalty was awarded to Eccles for crossing in an attack and the Eccles kicker using the gale force wind to his advantage and scored a good penalty from ten metres inside his own half.
With an 8-6 lead Eccles just needed to keep clearing the ball upfield and wind down the clock but for some reason they still tried to run the ball out of defence. From one of these attacks Tarleton turned the ball over and a great run by Max Skofic almost lead to a try as a ruck was formed on the Eccles line but just as it seemed certain they would score the referee stopped the game as an Eccles player had been knocked out trying to stop Max’s run.
This was Tarleton’s last chance of scoring in the game and it was Eccles who scored a good try in the last few minutes that was converted to give Eccles a 15-6 victory and the conversion cost Tarleton a losing bonus point.
Eccles had to work hard to win this game and it proves that Tarleton are in the right league as this was another match against one of the top sides in the division that could possibly have gone the other way with a bit more luck.
The Second XV had a great victory against Fleetwood with a 93-0 victory that keeps them top of the table.