Godwin to the Rescue
A first ever try in senior rugby for Alistair Godwin saw Littleborough second team snatch a deserved away victory in the final game of the season against Eccles 2's.
Defeat for the home side consigned them to relegation from the Division 2 North on a thrilling and nervous final day. For Littleborough they finish the season how they begun with a win in what has been a disjointed and mixed season. The manor of the result and the level of performance from each and every player was most pleasing as the team worked their socks off for one another.
Littleborough who travelled to Gorton Street with a threadbare 13 that included a back line of 3 back row players took the early lead through another well worked team try. For the third week in a row Boro utilised great hands and offloading skill to keep the ball moving into the Eccles 22, where full back Corey Chaplain was able to exchange passes with captain Chris Collins before diving under the posts.
Eccles who had so much riding on the game were determined not to lose their league status and capitalised on a fortunate bounce of the ball from a long punt up-field to run in the equaliser.
The next two scores, one from either side owed much to good fortune and lightening acceleration and speed. First Littleborough's winger Luke Carr pounced on a misplaced pass to pick up and run in from half way, while his opposite number for Eccles did just the same as he intercepted Chris Collin's pass to steam in for a try that started in his own half.
Once again the two sides swapped tries again as Littleborough regained the lead with a powerful burst and a dummy from prop Jack Lord gave scrum half for the day Aaron Jones an easy walk in under the posts. Converting his own try, Aaron had given the visitors a crucial 5 point gap.
It was a lead to miss all of 10 minutes as a miss kick from Luke Carr in his own in goal area gave Eccles the chance to counter, which they did to great effect securing a try close to the left hand post. By successfully making the conversion, Eccles now brought the scores level going into a exciting second half.
Both teams would have periods of good possession and territory in their opponents 22 but no team or individual could land the knock out blow until the last 10 minutes. A well worked move from the Eccles backs put the full back in at the right corner as the home support believed they had snatched the all important victory in their battle from the drop.
However 4 minutes later Littleborough snatched victory in the most dramatic of fashion. An Eccles line out in their own 22 was gobbled up by Alistair Godwin who drove his way past 2 desperate last ditch tackles to just dot the ball down. The lock who has been one of the key men for the Boro 2nd team all season and has been in sensational form this season sparked wild scenes as he marked 25 years of no tries to his name by getting the all important leveller.
This left experienced Paul Fino the opportunity to take the kick which would hand Littleborough all 4 points and bring down the curtain on this season with a bang. His calm and composed kick sailed through the posts and had Eccles scrambling to find a chance to take back their lead.
A controversial penalty for a high tackle that hit the attacker at chest level gave Eccles just that opportunity. 20 metres out, with no wind and a straight angle for the kick should have meant that Eccles took the win. Exceptionally that turned out to be the opposite as the subsistute fly half kick sailed horribly wide and handed Littleborough only their second victory on the road this season.