Sat 17
First Team
D Rowett (2), M Caroll, T Bradfield (3), M Cormack
D Rowett (2), D Beddows, C Pape
Eccles edge past gallant Gladiators

Eccles edge past gallant Gladiators

By Jim Green
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Chester Gladiators almost pulled off a shock victory against Eccles in a pulsating War of the Roses Cup tie at Clifton Drive.

The Gladiators pushed their higher division opponents all the way in an entertaing game which featured no fewer than 15 tries and some punishing tackles.

Eccles hit the front after eight minutes and quickly doubled their lead with the visitors ability to shift the ball wide posing plenty of problems for Chester's defence throughout the match.

However, the Gladiators responded well and Dan Rowett burrowed over for a try from close range with Dave Beddows adding the extras.

Eccles moved further in front with another try before Rowett's smart kick was brilliantly grounded by winger Mark Carroll out wide to reduce the visitor's lead.

Once again Eccles were next to score as Chester's inability to cope with the visitors expansive style began to tell but Chris Pape intercepted the ball on the stroke of half time and released Martin Cormack who ran clear to touch down and send the Gladiators into the break on a high.

The Salford-based side opened the scoring in the second period but two tries replacement Tom Bradfield saw Chester close the gap to eight points.

Eccles edged further in front but Chester again pegged them back with Rowett crossing for his second of the game setting up a thrilling final 20 minutes.

The visitors forced their way over the Gladiators try line on 70 minutes and their 10 point advantage was enough to secure the win although Bradfield crossed out wide to secure his hat trick and make the final score 42-36 in the visitors favour.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 17, Mar 2012


Tom Bradfield

Player of the match

Tom Bradfield