Widnes U-11's travelled to Eccles and managed to triumph in what must be described as their hardest match in 2010 so far.
Eccles don't have enough players to make up seperate u11's and u12's teams so they combine both age groups. This meant the Wids boys were up against some players that could have been nearly 2 years older than them, and they faced this challenge head on.
Widnes kicked off and instantly pounced on an error from the Eccles full back, the visiting pack piling into the first ruck and then being forced back as the well drilled Eccles forwards counter rucked and retrieved the ball, clearing the lines with a well placed kick.
There then followed a pattern of play which was to be repeated again and again as the two teams attempted to blow each other way with huge hits in the tackles and expansive running from the backs which was met with strong and determined defence.
The Wids started to get on top, their pack giving the older Eccles opponents trouble in the scrums and lineouts and the backs (being marshelled at scrum half by Sam Freeman and at stand off by Callum O'Connor) starting to make in roads into the Eccles backfield.The visitors then put together seven phases of play combining forwards and backs which gave Jamie Patent the opportunity to dive over and score the first try of the game. Freeman converted and the Wids were seven nil up at half time.
The interval gave the coaching staff the time required to make a few changes with Matthew Tyrell moving to scrum half and Freeman and O'Connor moving back to their usual positions of Stand off and inside centre respectively. The team also welcomed back Mark Hughes who returned to playing after a long absence due to injury and he took his place on the wing. Within minutes he had confirmed his return with a fearless tackle on one of the biggest Eccles players.
The second half started in exactly the same way as the first with both teams colliding with each other in hard hitting play. Widnes started to get on top more and more as they started to effectively deal with the very aggresive Eccles team at the break down with John and Adam Brett putting their size and strength to good use and the quicker but no less impressive Josh Boughey and Adam Maddison making themselves a nuisance at rucks, quickly breaking away to get to the Eccles backs before they could get any momentum golng. George McGarvey yet again came up with the ball at the mauls when the home team took it in and it was this type of play that led to the Wids second try.
The forwards chased down another good kick from the backs clearing their lines and this gave Jamie Patent the opportunity to pick up and drive over for five more points converted to seven by Freeman.
Eccles then put in some determined work and would have scored several times if it wasn't for great defensive work from the Widnes team, but eventually they home team crashed over from a penalty from ten yards out.
There were only two minutes left to play after the successful conversion during which the visitors put in the tackles and defensive work to force the home team back into their own half. This meant the Wids finished the game on the front foot and driving towards the Eccles try line with the ever impressive Evan Bullen leading the charge.
Again a great all round performance from the team contributed to a great fourteen to seven win and the coaching staff and parents came away from the Eccles ground knowing what a stern test the team had just passed with flying colours. Gary and Paul would like to thank all the parents and Widnes team members for their time and efforts today and also our thanks to coach John and his team from Eccles for their warm welcome tand a very competitive match.