Reserve grade scoring spree

Mick Eccleston about to score for Gundagai in the reserve grade clash.
Mick Eccleston about to score for Gundagai in the reserve grade clash.

Ninety-two points were scored in the hour-long reserve grade contest at Anzac Park on Sunday, with Gundagai doing the bulk of the scoring in a 66-16 win.

The tone for the match was set right from the beginning.

It’s not often a team scores from both its opening two attacking sets of the match, but the Tigers did just that when Mick Eccleston and Dylan Cole worked skilfully to send Scott Smart over in the opening minute, and then moments later Chris Smith backed up to score a second try.

For good measure, Gundagai then conceded a try on their first defensive set when Bulldogs winger James Smith pounced on a kick in the in-goal, and after just six minutes of play, three tries had been scored and Gundagai was up 12-4.

The frenetic opening slowed only slightly for the remainder of the contest.

Gundagai didn’t get to a kick all that often in this one; they tended to either score, or make a mistake with a try in the offing.

Captain-coach Mark Eccleston finished with four tries, his first coming in the 14th minute when he forced his way over from dummy half for an 18-4 lead.

His second came moments later. The Tigers marched upfield from the kick-off, culminating with a stepping Cole laying on a try under the posts for his captain-coach.

Cootamundra was having its moments with the ball and Smith almost laid on his team’s second try, but it was Gundagai that extended the lead through Cole, and they finished off the half with a terrific team try featuring a brace of players that was expertly finished by fullback Joseph Rose.

Up 32-4 at the break, Gundagai started the second half just as they had the first; by scoring from their opening two sets with the ball.

Halfback Tarron Makeham backed up second rower Mick Eccleston to put his team up 38-4, and the Tigers went almost the length of the field for Mark Eccleston to get his third.

The captain-coach did it all himself for the next try, twisting, turning and stepping out of tackles on his way to the line, before Coota stopped the avalanche of tries against them by posting one of their own under the posts to fullback Pat Cameron.

Cootamundra subsequently enjoyed its best period of the match and Shaun Parker ploughed over for the Bulldogs’ third of the match, before Gundagai finished full of running, notching three tries in the final minutes.

With six minutes to go centre Rhys Smart raced over, Michael Eccleston burst through to score with four left and then replacement Josh Murray backed up for the final try of the day.



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