Eccles U13s summer training start date.

Next season’s under U13s will begin their summer training in preparation for the new campaign:

Sunday JULY 15th 2018

10.30am at the club.

Watch this space for further details nearer the date.

All welcome………. including new players to the game and the club!

Paul Fleming

Eccles RFC Junior Section Chairman and U13s Coach

 

Eccles U12s at the Southport Tournament 2018

Welcome to Southport ………!!

Well, WHAT a weekend that was!

We had all the preparations necessary for an end of season Tour: a near-full squad, a sound game plan, all the logistics in place, a great hotel happy and willing (we think!) to accept an excited group of Salford kids, a fantastic weather forecast, eager parents, nervous coaches …….. and a Tour monkey!!

Now, to the match reports!

Here’s the format and the teams entered:

Six teams playing each other twice over two days = 10 games, 7 mins each way, played 5th and 6th May. 

  • Eccles RFC.
  • Ramsey RFC (Isle of Man)
  • South Leicester RFC
  • Old Laurentians RFC ‘Warriors’ (Warwickshire)
  • Old Laurentians RFC ‘Gladiators’
  • Southport RFC

Rather than trying to report on each game, at which point I’m sure you’d be bored to tears!……….. The following match reports are from the most exciting and exhilarating games.

GAME 01:

Eccles 2 v Southport 3

We were first up against the hosts on a sun baked surfaced with a watching home crowd, which under ‘normal’ circumstances, would be an intimidating environment….. don’t forget these are 11 year old boys…… but, here’s where we differ! These boys are fearless! With a squad devoid of extra cover and fresh legs, we had 13 players against opponents with constant fresh legs!

The opening exchanges set the tone for an absolute toe-to-toe bout over two games which was a whole lot more appealing than the pay-per-view Bellew -v- Haye.

From the first whistle, Ollie sent a wonderful drop-out that landed on a postage stamp sized area for our flyers to threaten the receiver. James was first to the melee and hit it at pace closely followed by Evan and Lucas.

The Southport attack looked hungry and aggressive in the contact zone as the ball was presented neatly for their early surge into the Eccles half.

With Lucas and Heath forming a solid defensive unit in the centre, the Southport attack was halted as Matt came in low to steal possession for the first of many times over the series of games.

Joe hit the open side with his trademark hip shift before a neat pass to Fletcher on the right hand side. As Fletch looked for a gap to snake through, the Southport defender dipped low to upend Fletch, planting him from an unforgiving height, hard into the ground. It was clear that the home tactics were to take to an offensive game to pound the Eccles boys into submission.

The Eccles boys soaked up the onslaught before returning some of their own aggression into the attacks with some superb ball carrying.

Southport took an early lead before Matt burst through the gain line with a hand-off to leave his defender on his knees as the intensity rose with the noise levels of the watching home supporters ….which further galvanised the Eccles boys!! 1-1

The half time interval approached, ‘Port then took the lead following some good work out wide. 1-2

As the second period kicked off, Heath gathered the ball and crashed through a gap only he saw. With Joe and Lucas in support, Adam came on a fantastic line to blast into open space. It was only thanks to some clinical Southport defending that the scores weren’t even. From the restart, the home team secured the ball as they hit the gain line to set up an important score to stretch their lead. 1-3

Back came Eccles after a fantastic counter-drive from Ollie turned the ball over. Evan carried the ball hard into contact to set up a wonderful drive that had ‘Port retreating. From the back of the maul, Joe popped it to James who took it at a pace that was way too powerful to be stopped. 2-3

With the clock running down, the appetite from the Gorton Street boys was infectious as their supporters urged the boys on with a sense that they possessed the heart and desire, and more importantly, the intelligence to turn the game. However, with tournament games played in a shortened format, the clock was against the boys as the hosts ran out as winners ….narrowly.

This was a magnificent ‘curtain raiser’ that would prove be only a taster of what was in store in the following games.

Game 02:

Eccles 2 v 2 Southport

In a rather strange victim of circumstances, the next game for the boys was against the same opponents! However, it was the Gorton street boys whose desire for the re-match would very nearly give them the victory they so deserved. The passion and intensity they showed was a real benchmark that resulted in some complimentary comments from the hosts’ coaching team that their boys had not been pressed so hard in a long time!

From the moment Ollie hoisted the ball high once more, the charge up field from Eccles was a flavour of what would be in store.

Again Matt slammed his opposite number down with a magnificent tackle that was followed up by some aggressive rucking to clear out the ‘Port defenders. Joe gathered the ball and shipped it to Lucas who straightened the attack before putting Fletcher away on the left. As he stepped back inside, he was met with a less than legal attempt at a tackle that saw him prostrate on the ground resulting in the ‘Port defender being sent from the field.

The Eccles boys could taste the fight now!

A loose ball in contact was claimed by the Southport prop who set up the ruck from which came the opening score ….against the run of play.

From the restart, Evan once again took a catch to ‘turn and set’ despite some ‘close attention’ from the opposition! The ball was fed back to Ollie who linked with Heath and Carter who showed some lovely hands to pop it back to Heath. With a strong leg drive, Heath powered by adrenalin, surged deep into the ‘Port half of the field. With still some work to do, Heath showed his determination to get his team mates on the score board 1-1

Eccles were elected to kick off which worked to their advantage as Southport were showing the early signs of battle tiredness. The follow-up on the kick off applied some great pressure on the Southport receiver and the loose ball was claimed by James who managed to remain on his feet long enough for his support to reach him. Max, back on the filed after some treatment, drove hard with Finn in assistance. The ball was put on a plate for Joe who spun it out to the right for Ollie. With the line coming closer, Ollie pulled in the ‘Port defence to time his pass to perfection to Lewis. With his coaches words still ringing soundly in his ears, he gripped the ball tightly as if his life depended on it as he knew the contact was coming. He angled his body perfectly to score a vitally important try amidst some ecstatic celebrations from the Eccles supporters (ok, and the coaches, Sorry!!) 2-1 Eccles.

Then the turn in the game: With Eccles in the ascendancy, a Southport attack was defended hard on the halfway line with Ollie, Heath and Lucas all in attendance.

The referee then spotted an infringement he deemed punishable with a period of rest, much to Lucas’ confusion. But, such is the professional attitude shown by the Captain and despite the intensity of the game, Lucas never questioned the decision. Remarkable and a real example to others which sets him apart as a Captain.

This now meant no replacements for the Eccles boys who were now involved in a real rugby fight of epic proportions…….. just what this wonderful game is all about!

Southport then launched an attack just beyond the halfway line. They were chasing the game now and were struggling to get any momentum as they tired as Eccles constantly met them with powerful defending. A Southport attack was then held up and as the referee called the first drive ‘once’ it was obvious the maul was going to be held on the shout of ‘twice.’

Somehow, the decision was made before the second shout, and, just as Matt ripped the ball back for Eccles with seconds to go, a scrum to Southport was called. A clean hook saw the ball swept right and a last attempt at a match saving tackle wasn’t enough to stop the speedy winger scoring in the corner. Cue wild celebrations from one team and despair form the other. 2-2 final score.

Day One

  • Played 05
  • Won 01
  • Drawn 01
  • Lost 03

Comments:

This [Southport game] was probably the hardest contest these boys have ever been involved in! Both sets of players were absolutely out on their feet as their next games, respectively, showed just how much they had given.

The feeling of commitment and desire and passion was evident and everybody should be rightly proud of what this set of boys did out there. Eccles never lost focus on the job they had to do, and with no fresh legs at their disposal, their task was all the more harder. They thundered into contact, played intelligently with ball in hand, never took a backward step and remained cool under pressure yet aggressive in the contact zone.

Both teams gave it everything!

To come third in the competition after two days of rugby was an absolute compliment to the boys……. well done!

Eccles Squad: 

Heath, Ollie, Finn, Lucas, Matt, Max, Lewis, Fletcher, James, Evan, Joe, Adam, Shayne, Carter, (and Liam).            

  • Lucas: played himself to standstill till he could play no more… and a more complete Captain you couldn’t wish to have in the team. Awesome in the tackle.
  • Ollie: Our Full back with a love of tackling and sticky hands under the high ball and good for the occasional important try….. as he did in his tournament!
  • Heath: A real gem in our midst with a natural charm yet an ability to demolish opponents with his powerful runs and vision for the try line! Scorer of the all important opening try in the second test game v Southport.
  • Evan: A true second row in the making and finished his tournament with a smart black eye (one for the girls he tells me!).
  • Max: A powerful prop with a great pass who always requires at least two opponents to bring him down.
  • Matt: Had a wonderful tour and arguably, player of tour. Scored some vital tries as well as stopping a number of heavy attacks.
  • Finn: Unsung hero as our hooker. Methodically and clinically hooked clean ball time and again, and never complained despite playing in one of the hardest positions on the field (for all you backs!).
  • Joe: Live-wire scrum half always capable of scoring that match winning try and then providing the vital pass to put a team mate in.
  • Adam: Electricity in his boots and constantly kept his teams spirits high. Scored some great tries on tour.
  • Fletcher: Another flier and good for a certain try with open grass in front of him and….. a try scorer on Tour!
  • Carter: At last found his soft hands in the pass with some wonderfully timed short passes at that vital moment. Also incredibly powerful in the tackle.
  • Shayne: Made such an important contribution on Day 2 of tournament with two (TWO!) CHARGE DOWNS on his opponents try line …….. from a prop! Again, another power house in the ruck.
  • Lewis: New to the game this season and scored a wonderful try in the most physical game the boys have ever played against Southport! Well done!
  • James: A capture from rugby league and steadily becoming a solid important player in the Eccles tight 5. His work at the ruck in the Tour games was vital and thoroughly deserved his Tour scores!

Day Two

With another five games on the Sunday and some tired aching bodies, the coaches would have been content with a single win on the day….. however, they once again stepped forward and proved just what a unit they have become.

  • Played 5
  • Won 03
  • Drawn 01
  • Lost 01

The one game conceded on Sunday was against the Tournament winners Ramsey, so no shame here!

Closing Comments:

This was a real roller coaster for the nerves and as the games finally wrapped up on the Sunday afternoon, it was important that parents, players, coaches and staff took part in understanding and appreciating just how far the team has come and how they finally proved they CAN play for each other and compete with some real good quality opponents.

Each and every player stood up and took their game to the opposition. They found their inner belief built on hard work, concentration and a determination that they would NOT be a pushover.

Indeed, if it hadn’t have been for the epic toe-to-toe ‘series’ with Southport, (and this applied to both teams I have to say) it may well have been an Eccles v Southport final. The shear physicality shown by both teams left them out on their feet.

I cant, and won’t, nominate a player of Tournament as this will be an award bestowed by the majority come awards night in June! But to finish this off, each player knew they had played to their best of their ability……….. and that’s all we ask!

Well done boys. Proud of you all!!

That’s it this season. We will be reconvening earlier this year to begin fitness training in preparation for playing on the big pitch next season.

The ‘Tour Report’ will be posted at a later date.

Thank you to……..

Paula without whom the Tour would not have happened and for making sure we are compliant with all the relevant rules, laws, addendums etc etc… as well as the fund raising….. a real star!

Andy for the whistle all season! If you’ve never refereed a game, you have no idea how hard it is! Thanks Andy.

Mark: For all his wisdom and energy with the backs and the team as a whole.

Big Dave: We all know Dave! A tremendous assistant in everything we do and another reason the team goes from strength to strength.

Vicky: Our regular statistician and source of info for the match reports so I don’t embellish everything!! Also a big thanks for the half time oranges giving the boys that additional boost!!

Liam: Absolute No: 01 supporter!

Lastly: All you parents……. it does not, and will not, happen without your help, support and understanding! Brilliant……. all of you!     

The 2017/18 Junior Colts Season

Just pick the bloody ball up!

Each year as Summer approaches, the fixture list runs dry and the season comes to a close, parents, players and coaching staff reflect back on the highs and lows of the preceding nine or so months rugby. Some years you have to squeeze the pips out of the good news lemon in order to spin a story of positivity. Other years, and this is one of those years, you look back and see nothing other than positivity.

There have been low points. The lack of control and sportsmanship of opposition parents and players when we travelled to the Wild West; that feeling of a kick to the noodle what the lads dropped from B to C following the preliminary fixtures; the narrow loss at Ormskirk on day one; most of all, the loss of some of the Junior Colt players, The (not) Wright Brothers, Ellis Pearson (unquestionably not right), Albert, Alex etc.

Those high points though! What a season we have had as the City of Salford’s only representatives at Colts / Junior Colts. Lots of wins, a few losses and lots and lots of Trys. So many Trys that the lads have accumulated more points than any other club, Junior or Senior Colts. Conference C league winners Ormskirk are the only team to have got within a hundred points of the Eccles points tally. Defensively too Eccles have shown their resilience averaging no more than18 points per game conceded – that is less than 3 converted Trys per game. This plays out to an average match score across the season of 42 points for vs 18 points against – an outstanding team achievement.

The lads have proven time and time again that they are a hardworking and honest group who to a man are willing to put the effort in, constantly putting their body on the line. By way of example, just consider how many different profiles Harry Candland’s nose has had.

But in addition to hard work and endeavour there is an abundance of ability, skill, knowledge and rugby guile. Whether is is the Lieutenant Spiers type of runs of Shea Skillicorn, the uncompromising bulldozer charges of Keiron Reed or the FogHorn LegHorn backchat of Dan Aspinall, Eccles Junior Colts have never failed to bring an exciting brand of attacking rugby to the field, more often than not, paying dividends with well deserved and convincing victories.

The playing squad wouldn’t properly function without a team of backroom volunteers and staff who work tirelessly to ensure that the lads a prepared for each and every game:

Coach Kevin Walker – every Wednesday he ruthlessly drills the lads, every Sunday we hear him screaming “just pick the bloody ball up”

Coach Mark Candland – supporting Coach Kevin week in week out like a personal and direct line to the Samaritans

Mark Skillicorn – the team physio following his claims (has anyone seen the paperwork) of some kind of medical knowledge and a bottle of squirty, has been providing medical support for the lads, tending to knocks, bumps and Harry’s nose

Leeann Aspinall – fixture secretary, manager and all round Good-Egg. Without Leeann the whole thing would collapse overnight. Leeann is the foundations of the Junior Colts.

John ‘the suds’ Aspinall – the kit mans ‘kit man’. Eccles very own Barry Scott armed with industrial strength Omo and a bottle of Cillit Bang, John ensures that the Navy and White of Eccles kit is super clean, bright and smelling fresh for every game.

I feel like I’ve missed somebody out here so apologies, but the Rum is kicking in.

Finally I feel I have to mention the catering team at Eccles RFC. We have traveled to many clubs up and down the length of Lancashire, many of which clearly have more wealthy benefactors that Eccles and without fear of contradiction I can state that the post match food at Eccles is second to none

Of the individual players – there will be the formalities of a Players Player of the year etc but the truth is every player has contributed to the seasons successes. Some players contributions are highlighted more often than others, Kieron with his string of Man of the Match performances, Matthew Walker, Captain, 10 and lethal from the tee, Joe Rapinett – masterful in the Line Out, Brad Palmer – so often the last man and so often the difference between conceding a Try or not; Josh Green – Powerhouse of the Front Row. The list goes on and extends further to the U16s who have represented at Junior Colt level, Joe Borrett, Chris Gillard etc.

However there are those players though who regularly fall under the radar of the match report and plaudits but who have contributed immensely to the success of this Junior Colts Squad. Without wanting to single anyone out – I am going to single a couple of lads out.

Jack Williams. In terms of character, commitment and resilience, Jack must be at the top of the tree. He has played right across the Backs and also the Wing but it was his outstanding performance away to Oxton Parkonians at Full Back which in my opinion was one of the stand out individual performances of the season. Jack was immense!

Max Riley. Must be a Coaches dream player. Max will play and put a shift in anywhere on the field. He plays at the Back, as a Centre, as a Second Row – I think on one occasion he even joined the Big Lads in the From Row

The list could go on but in no particular order, (and I know I will have missed people of – apologies) here is a roll-call of the lads who have stepped up and represented the 2017/18  Eccles RFC Junior Colts

  • David Smith
  • Josh Green
  • Dan Aspinall
  • Chris Gillard
  • James Fletcher
  • Joe Rapinett
  • Matty Lee
  • Keiron Reed
  • Joe Borrett
  • Harry Candland
  • Tom Bates
  • Jack Williams
  • Josh Stafford
  • Shea Skillicorn
  • Daniel Delaney
  • Jordan Burns
  • Max Riley
  • Ed Hampson
  • Will Toone
  • Rob Strickland
  • Brad Palmer
  • Nat Kelsey
  • Matthew Walker
  • John Grundy
  • Cameron Williams
  • Albert Tonoyan
  • Ellis Pearson

It has been a fantastic season for Eccles Junior Colts and I have enjoyed doing the occasional match report this and previous years however I have utterly exhausted my book of witty quips and will be hanging up my reporters cap at the end of the season – especially as I have recently found out that Josh Green is studying A Level English Literature.

So, what next?

Well despite a rotund lady gargling the TCP in anticipation of an aria, the season isn’t over yet. The final fixture for Eccles Junior Colts is todays Alan James U17 Trophy which sees Eccles come face to face with the hugely powerful Conference B side Kirkby Lonsdale Junior Colts. Kirkby Lonsdale have had a mixed season, finishing mid-table but securing some impressive victories against Blackburn, Altrincham Kersal and Heaton Moor.

#NavyAndWhite

Epilogue

Unfortunately for Eccles, the Alan James Trophy went the way of league standings with Kirkby Lonsdale running out winners by a couple of Trys in a fiercely contested game. Eccles started slowly, conceding a soft Try early in the first half. This was soon followed by a second Try before some excellent running from Tanny Kelsey inside the Lonsdale 22 opened up their defence enough for Dan Aspinall to find his way in to the corner.

Kirkby Lonsdale extended their lead with some intelligent penalty kicking before Matthew Walker seized the opportunity to close the gap again with a converted Try and Penalty.

Eccles scored a final Try towards the end of the second half with a powerful run straight through the middle of the Kirkby Lonsdale defence from the fabulous Will Toone.

The lads were clearly upset at the end of the Final having lost a game that each and every one of them knew was well within their grasp.  But this has been an encouraging season for the Junior Colts with some great victories and stunning individual and team performances.

The recent decision to field a single Senior Colts squad for the 2018/19 season, drawing together some fantastic young talent from across the club, together with the introduction of the experienced Chris Gaffey to the coaching squad can only serve to strengthen the squad , create competition for places and increase the expectations for the coming season for all involved.

Final Score

Eccles 20 – 36 Kirkby Lonsdale

 

 

Quote of the day – in fact its a contender for quote of the Junior Rugby years.

5 minutes in to the game and my good lady, Lindsay asks me “who is the new lad, the tall number 6  playing for Eccles?” 🤔 🤔 👓 

 

How much have we enjoyed junior rugby Joe?

 

 

The End

ERFC U10s vs Sale FC U10s and ERFC U10s vs Stockport RFC U10s

 

U10s Match Report – 29th April 2018

Final game of the season and lovely sunny conditions for the round robin at Heywood Road. The boys had a great turnout and managed to field a full team with one sub every 3 minutes.

Squad: Connor, Flynn, Alfie Mason, Finley, Max, Michael, Owen, Sandy, Tomas and Tyler

 

Stockport RFC vs Eccles RFC

The first three minutes of this match was a real cat and mouse affair with each team not giving an inch. Despite both sides bringing out the best of each other’s defensive skills, strong tackles from Michael and Connor and a strong surge forward by Max and Finley saw Tom break the deadlock to score Eccles’ first. However, Stockport responded quickly with some good passes to score their first try of the match.  Eccles came back strongly with Alfie weaving and winding through their defence, passing to Sandy and Owen and finally to Tyler to score his first try of the day. From the re-start, Alfie, Max and Connor were involved in some fine tackles, helped further forward by Finley and Flynn to be stopped in Stockport’s 22. From the scrum, Michael and Sandy gelled well together to win the ball and get it out to Alfie to score Eccles’ third try. After the restart, momentum stayed with Eccles with great tackles put in by the whole team. After Tyler’s tackle, Owen collected the ball and passed to Sandy who passed to Connor who ran through Stockport’s defence to score Eccles’ fourth try. A quick steal off Eccles from the restart saw Finley, Flynn and Sandy surge forward to pass to Tyler who scored his second of the game. Full of confidence, Tom, Michael and Alfie pulled together well to score Eccles’ 6th try. Stockport kept up the pressure to move the ball up the pitch to score their second try. The game ended with some impressive tackling from Alfie, Max, Connor, Tom and Tyler. A real strong Eccles performance overall.

Final Score: Sale RFC 2 – 6 Eccles

Sale RFC vs Eccles RFC

Picking up where they left off, the first 5 minutes saw fantastic organization, motivation and strong team play with plenty pressure put on Sale to get out of their own 22. A strong tackle and push forward from Max, Finley, Connor and Sandy saw a pass to Alfie who calmly put it over the line to get Eccles first try of the match. With strong defensive play from Alfie, Flynn and Owen, strong team defending saw a pass out wide to Tyler who ran from Stockport’s 22 to score Eccles’s second try – fantastic speed. In the following quarter, more urgency was shown from Eccles who from the ruck demonstrated clever interplay between Tomas, Alfie and Finley and a final pass to Michael who showed great determination to score his first try of the day. After the restart, strong tackles from Flynn, Finley, Sandy and Owen saw a well organized ruck where Owen passed to Max to Tyler to Sandy who passed to Alfie for Eccles fourth try of the match. Good retaliation from Sale who put some good passes together but our determination and quick passing in the rucks saw Owen make a lovely pass to Max who drove forward to pass it to Sandy, Michael and Tom who edged another couple of yards before passing to Alfie to score our fifth and final try of the match.

Final Score: Sale RFC 0 – 5 Eccles

Men of the match: Excellent team play with all players really pulling together as a team. A lovely way to finish off the season with one of their strongest games so far. Therefore, the whole team gets a mention here – well done boys!

U10s Eccles RFC vs Sefton RUFC

 

U10s Match Report – 15th April 2018

Sefton RUFC Eccles RFC 

Squad: Connor, Flynn, Joe, Michael, Owen, Sandy, Tomas and Tyler

Eccles RFC U10s turned up today and were so quick off the blocks that the match reporter barely got her pen out to see a quick pass from Sandy to Owen to score Eccles’ first try in the first minute of play. The next 5 minutes saw positive play from the boys, putting lots of pressure on Sefton to get out of their own half. Good pressure from Joe and Tom and a wide pass out to Tyler from Michael saw Eccles get their second try of the match. Despite strong surges by Connor and Flynn, a loss of concentration from ERFC saw Sefton pick up a loose ball to score their first try of the match. Good positive reactions from the whole team though and great determination in the tackles from both sides. From the ruck, an ERFC ball passed quickly by Connor to create quick interplay between Joe and Sandy who passed to Owen who just missed the line due to a determined Sefton side putting in the tackle. Undeterred, the whole team pushed on – Owen, Tomas, Flynn and Joe putting in some great tackles and winning the ball, found Sandy surging through Sefton defence to score the third try. Despite momentum lying with Eccles, Sefton again sneaked in to score two consecutive tries. A clever tackle from Tom followed by a quick steal from Sandy who passed to Connor who calmly found Tom to let him get his first try of the match. In the following quarter, Sefton took quick possession to score again and move into the lead before the half time whistle.

From the restart, clever interplay between Flynn, Michael, Sandy and Joe and a final pass to Michael from Tyler to score another try. Followed quickly with a key tackle from Flynn to Owen to find Michael who attacked with lightning speed to score a consecutive try. With a few more subs, Sefton’s fresh legs saw them surge ahead and score a couple of tries. The last 5 minutes of the second half showed strong determination by the Sefton boys but great team spirit and organization from Tomas and Flynn saw Sandy just edging over the try line to score Eccles 7th. With more confidence, Eccles U10s began to challenge more balls and push forward with contributions from Connor, Joe, Tomas, Owen and a nice pass out to Tyler in space, giving Eccles their eighth try of the day. Nearing the end of the match, Eccles unfortunately let down their guard to allow Sefton through to equal the match.

Final Score: Sefton RUFC 8 – 8 Eccles RFC

Men of the match: Tackling, passing and rucks were much improved today. Therefore, the whole team gets a mention here – well done boys!

U10s Eccles RFC, Glossop RFC and Leigh RFC

 

U10s ERFC Match Report – 8th April 2018

Eccles/Glossop RFC vs Leigh RFC

A spring morning for a home fixture. Both Eccles and Glossop had a few absences this week due to the Easter holidays, so they joined forces to play a full Leigh squad.

 

Squad: Max, Sandy, Alfie Mason, Joe, Owen, Tyler, Flynn

 

After an even midfield battle for the first five minutes, Leigh pushed up a gear to score the first try of the match. Eccles looked to respond with some strong tackling from Sandy, Tyler and Joe followed by some positive forward running from Alfie Mason. Despite their determined efforts, Leigh broke again out on the wing for their second try. Eccles continued to push forward and won a penalty for their efforts and some quick passing from Owen and Max together with the Glossop boys out to the Eccles left flank released Alfie Mason and Tyler who both demonstrated some powerful running, but Leigh’s defence were on fire as they intercepted the ball from the ruck time and time again to get a quick couple of tries in succession. Again, Leigh looked the more alert from the restart and responded quickly to get another try. Undeterred, the Eccles boys provided a brief display of positive runs and passing between Alfie Mason, Owen, Flynn and Tyler, but the depth and quick thinking of Leigh’s squad was proving to be the difference as they pushed forward again for another couple of tries. A proud Eccles team continued to show their strength of character with some defiant tackling and persistent attacking however, Leigh had the last word with another brace of tries before the final whistle.

Congratulations to Leigh for a rugby masterclass today. Hopefully, Eccles U10s can bring their A game for next week’s trip away?

 

ECCLESFEST 2018

Glastonbury may be cancelled this summer, but thankfully you can still get your fix of epic outdoor live performances when Eccles RFC hosts its own End of Season Weekender on 28th and 29th April.   The 2-day event will not only mark the end of the Men’s 2017/18 rugby season but will also be a celebration of two notable events for the Ladies and Colts sections:

Saturday 28th April

  • 21 YEARS OF ECCLES RFC LADIES RUGBY
  • VIP SPONSORS DAY
  • KO 3pm – Eccles 2XV v Littleborough 2XV
  • KO 5pm – Eccles Ladies 1XV v Eccles Ladies Select XXI
  • Evening entertainment in the clubhouse will feature a presentation by the Ladies Captain and hopefully the return of the Men’s 1XV team with a victory from Tarleton.

Sunday 29th April 

  • LANCASHIRE RFU COLTS FINALS 2018 
  • Eccles RFC host a celebration of the county’s finest youth teams.
  • Eccles U17 v Kirkby Lonsdale U17 in the Junior Colts Trophy Final, KO 11am.
  • Heaton Moor U17 v Blackburn U17
  • West Park St Helens U18 v Widnes U18
  • Littleborough U18 v TBC
  • Presentations will take place on the Royal Balcony.

We hope ECCLESFEST will be a big social gathering for the whole club and have the clubhouse and grounds at full capacity.  All club members, past and present, Ladies, Seniors, Colts, Juniors and their families are welcome and encouraged to come down and enjoy the rugby on both days. Wellies, denim cut offs, cowboy hats and shades are all permitted dress code.  There will food, drinks and toilets available. No camping. No ticket touts.  More details to follow. #EcclesFest2018

Eccles RFC U10s versus Tyldsley RFC U10s

 

U10s Match Report – 25th February 2018

Tyldsley RFC vs Eccles RFC

Despite a cold chill, the sun was shining and conditions were perfect. The Eccles U10s had an away game against Tyldsley RFC. The boys had a great turnout and managed to field a full team with one sub every 10 minutes as did Tyldsley RFC.

Squad: Alfie, Alfie Mason, Conor, Flynn, Finley, Joe, Max, Owen, Sandy, Thomas and Tyler

After a thorough warm-up, Eccles were quick with the ball demonstrating creative playmaking from Connor and Owen who quickly passed to Alfie Mason who pulled away to stretch over the line to get Eccles first try in the first 5 minutes of play. The first half saw fantastic organization, motivation and strong team play with plenty pressure put on Tyldsley to get out of their own 22. A strong tackle and push forward from Alfie, Flynn, Finley and Sandy saw a pass to Tyler who calmly put it over the line to get Eccles second of the morning. Still celebrating, Eccles took their foot off the pedal and allowed Tyldsley over the line to score the easiest try of the match with little in the way of any defending from Eccles. The next bout of play saw strong defensive moves from Alfie, Flynn and Max, quick passing between Thomas, Joe, Alfie Mason, and Sandy and strong team defending – ending with a pass out wide from Owen to Finley to Tyler who ran to score Eccles’s third try. In the following quarter, there was a lot more pressure from Tyldsley but good positive tackling from Thomas, Joe, Max and Flynn kept Tyldsley at bay for a few minutes. Easily distracted Eccles took their eye of the ball to watch one of the Eccles parents to a backward somersault over the kitbags – followed quickly by Tyldsley’s second try of the match! Clever interplay between Thomas, Owen, Sandy and Finley and Tyler who passed to Joe who showed great strength but was just pushed out to touch near the try line.

The second half showed great team spirit and organization from Eccles with Thomas pushing forward, helped by Flynn, Finley and Max who passed to Tyler who scored his second of the game. After the restart, Eccles broke quickly to make ground. Strong tackles from Alfie, Flynn, Finley and Owen saw a well-organized ruck where Connor passed to Sandy who pushed forward to score Eccles fifth try of the match. Good retaliation from Tylsdley with both teams showing real defensive skills but Tyldsley steal the ball against the run of play to score their third try of the match. Eccles re-started by creating good, strong drives up the middle with Owen, Max, Joe, Alfie Mason and Sandy showing some strong defensive moves/tackles. From the ruck, a quick pass from Thomas to Connor, where Tyler found a gap to get the sixth try for Eccles. After relentless defending from both teams, Tyldsley spotted a gap in the line to score another try. Feeling annoyed with themselves Eccles respond well with Owen passing quickly from the ruck on the Tyldsley 22 to Alfie Mason showing clever passing to get down the line and score the final try of the game.

Final Score: Tyldsley RFC 4– 7 Eccles RFC

Men of the match: Excellent team play especially after the defeat last weekend with all players showing strong defensive play and good rucking. Flynn, Joe and Thomas get a special mention for playing the strong game today allowing our wingers a bit more movement – well done boys!

Under 12’s ….. Eccles 10 – 3 Bolton

Sunday 18th Feb:

Well….. from possibly the worst performance in this fixture at the start of the season… came the best performance so far last Sunday!

With the game plan programmed into the boys at Wednesdays training session, it remained to be seen just how much had sunk in and how effective it would prove against a physically strong and well organised Bolton team.

The early exchanges saw Eccles take advantage as they looked to move the ball across a firm and welcoming surface that would suit the Gorton street boys’ style of play. The early pressure from the forwards swept the ball out to the right hand wing to set up the first meaningful ruck. Joe planted his feet at the base ready to feed Lucas on his left. When Heath is on your shoulder, you always have options to either off-load or go for the gap as he draws the opposition defence. This time Lucas chose to ship the ball to his centre partner who hit it with such pace, there was no danger as long as he hit the angle cleanly. 1-0 Eccles.

Back came Bolton as Eccles momentarily lapsed in concentration to allow their big runners the slightest of gaps to surge through. The attempted tackle on the big lad was always likely to be weak when trying to stop a player like this anywhere above the waist line! Lesson learnt 1-1

Eccles knew from this point that accurate passing and ball retention would be the only way of securing a win. Alfie made a mockery of his slight frame time and again proving it really isn’t size that matters, but skill and smart thinking. Time and again he was surrounded by red shirts but never lost possession and constantly returned the ball for his team mates. Ollie was in magnificent form and pulled off one of the tackles of the day against the big rangy centre who found himself out wide with just Ollie to beat for a clear rum to the line. Once again, Ollie dropped his body position at the right moment as he dispatched the attacker under the noses of the watching Eccles supporters. The lift this gave the team was instant! Matthew was in outstanding form and never panicked on the ball, always setting a platform for Joe to hit his flankers and turning cleverly on his feet to simply present the ball for his supporting player. Evan occupied a smart channel close to his winger… and when that winger is Adam, you always want to slip the ball to him and watch the afterburners ignite!

It was another fine strong running line from Heath after some good ball retention from Shayne, that gave Eccles the next try. 2-1

Again, Bolton retaliated with another barging surge up the middle, and again, although a better attempt at a tackle…… there was no stopping the lad as he crashed over the line 2-2

Ollie looked to hoist the ball high from the restart as Adam and Lewis came off their wings to put pressure on the Bolton ball catcher. With Lucas on the wingers’ heels, there was always a chance of possession. The ball was knocked forward as Lucas picked up the bounce. By now Finn had hit the maul with a great body angle as Joe  again found Heath. With some way still to go, Heath shifted his shoulders before exploding through the defensive tackler. A fine try and possibly his best of the day! 3-2 and an early hat trick for Heath before half time.

By now the Eccles boys understood why they did the physical session at Wednesdays training as their game fell into place. The handling from the all the boys was a pleasure to watch. the middle of the park was secure and this gave Joe a perfect springboard to launch from. Bolton came again but this time, Jake scooped up the ball before setting the ruck for Matt to link with Heath. As Joe sprinted to support him, Heath popped the ball for Joe to take a looping line to score 4-2 Eccles.

Jack came into the action……. this was the one the watching crowd wanted to see as Jack, playing against his home town side, looked to show them his repertoire of skills! His first job was a double tag with Lucas to stop a potential strong attack from Bolton. Form the resulting scrum, Eccles moved the ball wide towards Alfie. Once again he kept possession wonderfully as Shayne took the pass from Joe. This was to be a real important score as it just put the breathing space between the teams leading to half time. 5-3 Eccles.

  • Half Time:

The second period saw Heath off the field, but the centre partnership was cemented as Jack slotted along side Lucas. As Ollie launched another counter attack inside the Bolton half, it was Captain Lucas who bagged a well deserved try to stretch the score board further 6-3 Eccles.

Fletcher was on the field to add his pace up the flanks and was always likely to see plenty of ball the way the boys were playing.

The next score was perhaps the sweetest of the day: Jack took a great pass from Matt who was having a tremendous day on the ball. With two defenders still to beat, Jack had a glint in his eye as he just knew contact was coming! With shoulders dipped low and a centre of gravity impossible to stop, Jack smashed over the line to loud applause 7-3 Eccles.

With the game ‘in the bag’ and conditions perfect, Eccles (for once) knew they had secured a real gem of a win against a strong opposition who were stretched on the day.

The score finished 10-3 Eccles, but it was the manner and the application that the boys displayed to secure this win that was impressive. They knew 100% concentration would only suffice, and they very nearly slipped up in the opening exchanges, but realised they had a game to stick to as well as the confidence to move the ball and trust themselves! Wonderful performance from all the boys who maintained concentration, composure and dignity. Well done!

  • Coaches Comments:

I think its all been said in the boys’ performance on the day. Each one of them backed each other …. and themselves. The game really was in the balance briefly, but they knew what to do and HOW to do it, more importantly. A mention must go to Andy our Ref on the day. Once more, too much from too many on the side lines as everyone on ONE side of the field had a ‘difference of opinion’ and as always, such views will never change a referees mind! Lesson to all!

Thanks to Vicky for the match stats and oranges at half time! ….the finer details always complete the bigger picture.

  • Eccles Squad:

Lucas (Capt), Heath, Ollie, Evan, Shayne, Taz, Finn, Lewis, Adam, Alfie, Jack, Joe, Fletcher, Matt