Eccleston Lions 10
Leigh East 21
By Dave Rudd
A makeshift Leigh East A team travelled over to St Helens to face Eccleston Lions in the 2nd Round of the NWC Cup.
With retired players putting their hands up to help the club through its current injury crisis the attitude of the players was top class.
From the kick off East looked the better organised team but were understandably off the pace and Eccleston pack handled the hot conditions better in the early exchanges.
East conceding 3 penalties in succession forced them into working overtime in defence but the line held firm.
The Effervescent Mark Ballard rolled back the years and started to take advantage of a tiring Ecclestone team.
The first try quickly came as a result, a deft grubber into the in-goal area from Ellis Noon allowed Kyle Carney to dive on the ball unchallenged and open the East account, Noon missing the extras.
More pressure on the Eccleston line by East couldn’t be converted until later in the half when Noon slotted over a one pointer.
As half time approached Ballard was proving to be a thorn in the Eccleston side and his simple probing dummy half runs saw the defence back off and eventually open up for Ballard to go over from 20 metres out.
Noon adding the extras for East to lead 11-0 at half time.
The 2nd half saw Eccleston running down the hill and it wasn’t long before they took advantage of this and scored 2 tries in quick succession to bring the scores to 11 – 10.
A nervous period for East was eased when Mike Fernay ploughed over with Noon adding the extras to lead by 17 points to 10
A huge defensive effort by East then kept Eccleston scoreless for the remainder of the game, and James Parkinson sealed the victory for East with a try on the stroke of full time.
Final score 21-10
A big effort from all the players, special mention to Gaz Hopkins, Andrew Gregson, Mark Ballard and Ryan King for coming out of retirement and rolling back the years.