Tommo Returns.

Eccles RFC are delighted to announce the return of former player Martin ‘Tommo’ Thompson.

DOR/ Head Coach Sam Simpson had this to say about the latest Senior recruitment – “I’m very happy Tommo has decided to join Eccles RFC for the 2018/19 season. Although he’s going to raise the average age of the squad considerably! – Haha – I believe he’s still got a lot to offer as a player and a mentor to the younger lads in the squad. Tommo is an uncompromising ball carrier, always finding himself on the correct side of the gain line. This  aggressive style carries over into his defensive work. If Tommo hits you, you stay hit! He has a wealth of Rugby experience, in both League and Union, and it’s here, developing the mindsets of the younger lads in the squad, that I see the bigger impact of his return.”

Tommo had this to say – “I’m delighted that Sam has asked me to return to play for Eccles next season.  I originally joined the club in 2009 after moving to Manchester from Edinburgh where I had played for Foresters RUFC. Eccles is a great family club and this was evident when my wife, Abi, and I joined. Since moving away to Lancashire in 2012 I have played for Rossendale RUFC’s second team, enjoying my rugby, and helping them to win the League One title and Cup in the 2016/17 season.

Unfortunately at the start of the 2017/18 season I got injured and was unable to play. Since then I have been getting myself back to fitness, but have been considering retirement. However, after meeting with Sam and discussing how I could be involved again at Eccles, I am now looking forward to playing alongside some great friends and helping to bring on the talented youth Eccles have.”

Eccles Touch is back

Wednesday summer evenings, 7pm-8.30pm, sees the return of O2 Touch to Eccles RFC. Pitch up and play on the 11th July (registration 6.45pm). League begins 18th July.

6 aside (minimum 2 female players). 6 minute games. 6 touch tackles per set. Rolling subs. No kicking. No diving trys. Team up. Compete.

For more details & application forms contact:


New season, new approach, new nights.

Preparations for the new Senior season are well underway.  The Ladies have already commenced their pre-season training and are reporting good numbers. 

Men’s pre-season training will begin on July 10th and with it will come a change to Tuesday and Thursday evenings 19.00 -20.30.

It’s hoped the switch from Monday/Wednesday will provide an additional day of recovery for knocks and injuries incurred by Seniors on a Saturday; encourage Colts participation who play on a Sunday afternoon; and enable attendance of College and University students who play on Wednesdays.

The decision for Mens and Ladies squads to train on the same evenings has been reached following consultation between coaches and with the aim of making better use of the club’s facilities and physios, and to improve general collaboration and socialisation between the sections.

We hope to welcome many new faces to Gorton Street over the next few months.  Eccles are actively looking to recruit players this summer and the club’s ‘Men Wanted’ film has already achieved over 2,000 views on Twitter/Vimeo and almost 9,000 views Facebook.  If you’re interested in playing at Eccles join us at pre-season training or get in touch at or

2XV fight to the end but fall in the final minutes of the final game 

  • Eccles 2XV 24-26 Littleborough 2XV 
  • Saturday 28th April 2018


  • 13 mins   0-7  TRY Littleborough; Converted
  • 16 mins   7-7   TRY Eccles; (Damola Ayanlaja) Converted
  • 22 mins  7-12  TRY Littleborough
  • 25 mins  14-12 TRY Eccles; (Kyle Pickford) Converted
  • 30 mins  14-19  TRY Littleborough
  • 39 mins  19-19  TRY Eccles; (Damola Ayanlaja) Converted
  • HT 19-19
  • 59 mins  24-19 Eccles; (Neil Williams)
  • 75 mins  24-26 TRY Littleborough; Converted
  • 79 mins  PENALTY KICK Eccles; missed
  • FT 24-26


  • 1. S Cork 
  • 2. A Davies
  • 3. N Morrissey
  • 4. A Waring
  • 5. A Dutta
  • 6. K Pickford 
  • 7. D Cusick 
  • 8  A Poole
  • 9. T Wilson 
  • 10. A Stimson 
  • 11. D Ayanlaja
  • 12. Tommo 
  • 13. N Williams
  • 14. T Ramsey
  • 15. Sean Barlow
  • 16. Paul Flemming
  • 17. Reece James
  • 18. Gary Hamer


The final game of the season, and for the first time probably since the sunny autumn Saturdays of 2017 Eccles 2XV managed to assemble a starting 15 plus replacements. In fact Eccles found themselves in the unfamiliar circumstances of loaning a player to the opposition who arrived with only 13! A last gasp home win would give the 2XVs the opportunity to move above Vale of Lune in the table, 2 points above, and avoid relegation. As the theme to The Great Escape was belted out by the Eccles Borough Band and the hordes of spectators on the heaving balcony, Eccles kicked off and the opening passage of play with a scrum in the opposition 22 gave the home team hope of an early score. Sloppy handing lead to a turn over and counter attack. The visitors retained the ball and eventually broke the deadlock at 13 mins with an overlap on the wing, scoring under the posts, 0-7. The Eccles 2s were up for the fight and battled back straight away. Within 3 minutes, U18 colt Damola Ayanlaja made a barnstorming run up the left wing, disguarding several defenders he accelerated away to cruise through and score a try by the post 7-7, 16 mins, all equal.  6 mins later, with Eccles attacking, an intercepted pass in midfield resulted in a clean break for Littleborough who scored unopposed  7-12. Eccles again immediately responded, again through Damola, who handed of the opposition’s 8 and 1, smashing his way up the left wing to instigate a sustained period of attacking pressure from Eccles. Littleborough hung on, scrambling the ball away twice from their goal area. The Eccles forwards worked collectively to maintain the advantageous central position just outside the 22; scrum-half Wilson fed the ball to Dutta whose charge through the middle was halted; from the break down the ball is dispatched to Damola who, coming in off his wing, blitzes through several tackles carrying defenders with him and pulled down inches short of glory, is able to pop the pill up for supporting forward Pickford to score the Try; converted. Eccles ahead, 14-12. The evenly-balanced game swings back in favour with a try to Littlelborough on 30 mins, 14-19. Eccles fight back once again through the determined Damola Ayanlaja who intercepts a pass in the midfield and breaks free, and powers away from the opposition backs to run home another Try to the left of the posts, converted, to put the game all square at half time. 19-19 HT

Littleborough restart. Scrums became uncontested due to opposition injury. Reece James enters the field as a replacement and Eccles enjoy long periods of possession and territorial advantage. A high tackle on the Eccles winger during an attack goes unseen and unpunished by the referee, but Eccles regroup and continue to press for the score that will underline their second-half dominance. Following persistent, determined work by the forwards on the right the ball is whipped across the field in a superb backs passing move, concluded by Neil Williams who drives for the line and finishes a terrific team try on 58 mins – agreeably the best 2s moment of all season; 24-19. Eccles are ahead again and are able to hold Littleborough in the centre of the pitch for the next 15 minutes. As the game draws towards the final whistle, the visiting forwards score a try through a set piece move from what was their only serious attack in the second half, with much jubilation. With minutes remaining, Eccles attempt a last ditch response from the restart. Momentum moves to the other end of the pitch, where with overlapping numbers a dramatic wining try looks possible. With 2 minutes remaining Eccles are awarded a penalty kick inside the 22, to the right of the sticks. The ball is sadly slotted wide and shortly after the game is over.  FT 24-26

The Eccles 2XV battled all the way to end, but it was not to be.

The team now awaits news of its fate.  It’s been a demanding season, with many injuries and disappointments, but the defiant spirit today was there for all to see. Credit must go to all the players (both colts and those who thought their boots were hung up) who stepped up and pulled on a shirt this season and in particular, recognition to the 2s Captain and Manager Alun Davies who endured the onerous, thankless task of attempting to assemble a team each week. Vodafone profits are predicted to fall sharply next month. 

Eccles 2XV  14-66  Penrith 2XV 

Eccles 2XV  14-66  Penrith 2XV 

Saturday 21st April 2018


▪7 mins    0-7  TRY Penrith; Converted

▪8 mins    INJURY Eccles (now 14 men)

▪11 mins  0-14 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪15 mins  0-21 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪18 mins  7-21 TRY Eccles (Swain); Converted (Swain)

▪33 mins  YELLOW  Eccles (13 men – High Tackle)

▪33 mins  7-28 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪35 mins  7-33 TRY Penrith

▪40 mins  7-38 TRY Penrith

HT 7-38

▪INJURY Eccles (now only 12 men, spectator volunteers to play to take it back to 13)

▪41 mins   7-45 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪43 mins   7-52 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪60 mins INJURY  Eccles (Swain) (now 14 men)

▪60 mins   7-59 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪63 mins   7-66 TRY Penrith; Converted

▪67 mins   14-66 PENALTY TRY Eccles; Converted

▪67 mins  YELLOW card Penrith


FT 14–66



1. Stu Poole 

2. Davies 

3. Stu Cork 

4. Tony Simpson 

5. Anthony Dutta 

6. Dave Cusick

7. Kyle pickford 

8. Matt Nombela 

9. Washy 

10 Matt Swain 

11. Jonno 

12 Gareth Miller

13. Neil Williams 

14. Will Tait 

15. Chinese

Once again Eccles 2XV struggle to find 15 fit players and suffer the consequences with a heavy home defeat, playing almost the entire match with at least one player less. An Eccles yellow awarded for a high tackle in the 1st half proved decisive, with the visitors taking full advantage running in 5 tries during the 10 minute sin bin.  The team battled all the way to end earning a late Penalty Try for their efforts, but three more injured players, who left the field with no Physio support, added to the general misery.

👏 CONGRATULATIONS TO PENRITH 2XV, who brought a coach full of supporters with them and ended the game as Division 2 North League Champions.

Looking up from the bottom of the table, the patched up Eccles 2XV limp into their last fixture next week at home vs Littleborough – one last opportunity to record a home win. Today’s waterbottles sum up the 2s season. 

2nd XIII Struggle On

Bottom of the Division 2 North table, with just 2 wins and 2 games to go, things look bleak for the 2s.

With depleted numbers and an inconsistent weekly line up, the 2XV continue to suffer heavy defeats on the road as a 2XIII. Recognition must go to Captain Alun Davies and all those who persevere with him each Saturday to fulfil the club’s fixtures in difficult circumstances. Their resolve and spirit does them great credit. The courage, discipline, resilience and heart of the Eccles 2nd Team can not be faulted – What is needed is 15 players and replacements every week.


Leigh 2XV  24-12  Eccles 2XV 

Saturday 7th April 2018

  • Scores:
  • 7 mins    0-5  TRY Eccles
  • 20 mins  5-5  TRY Leigh
  • 23 mins  5-12 TRY Eccles; converted
  • 38 mins  10-12 TRY Leigh
  • HT 10-12
  • 41 mins  17-12 TRY Leigh; converted
  • 80 mins   24 -12 TRY Leigh; converted
  • FT 24–12


  • Team:
  • 1. S Cork 
  • 2. Davies
  • 3. S Poole
  • 4. 
  • 5. D Cusick
  • 6. A Wood
  • 7. K Pickford
  • 8. M Hill
  • 9. M Hope 
  • 10. A Stimson 
  • 11. A Davies
  • 12. P Heseltine
  • 13. Bill
  • 14. T Cullen


Eccles 2XV began the match with only 13 players including 3 colts, one of whom arrived late and one who was injured in a tackle on the stroke of half time. Eccles had no option other than to continue with 12 men for the remainder of the game.

Despite their numerical disadvantage Eccles played a competitive first half and were ahead at the break 10-12 with tries on 7 minutes and 20 mins. With the loss of Matt Hope at scrum-half and the necessary juggle of positions, momentum shifted to Leigh immediately following the restart, with a quick try in the corner, taking advantage of their overlap of players on the wing. Eccles went on to dominate play and possession for the entire reminder of the second half, with Leigh, unable to escape their own territory, resorting to desperate kicks upfield to relieve the pressure from a determined Eccles, who pressed hard for the try that would give them victory. With the full-time whistle poised on the referees lips, a long clearance kick from Leigh bounced and stayed in play, leading to a chase that an exhausted Eccles could not reach and the home team ran in easy second second-half try on the death, giving them a comfortable looking 24-12 win, that did not reflect the close fought game. Not for the first time this season, an under-manned Eccles ran out of steam and players and were unable to hold onto a lead.

Littleborough 2XV 41- 0 Eccles 2XV

Saturday 14th April 2018

  • Scores:
  • 20 mins INJURY (Newlove)
  • 23 mins  5-0   TRY  Littleborough 
  • 27 mins  10-0  TRY  Littleborough
  • 30 mins  17-0  TRY  Littleborough
  • HT 17-0
  • 3 more home tries and a penalty followed.
  • FT 41–0 


  • Team:
  • 1. S Poole
  • 2. Davies
  • 3. G Hamer
  • 4. Tait
  • 5. Richardson 
  • 6. D Cusick
  • 7. K Pickford 
  • 8.
  • 9.  J Waring
  • 10. A Stimson 
  • 11. D Cusick
  • 12. Williams 
  • 13. A Davies 
  • 14. N Newlove




Although a different scoreline to the previous week’s Leigh fixture, Littleborough away was similar demoralising story. Eccles 2XV once again began with 14 players and uncontested scrums and endured for the first 20 minutes without conceding any points; then lost a player to injury in a tackle (Nathan Newlove), which the opponents immediately took advantage of to score an opening try down the wing, with an overlap, in the corner. 

The familiar pattern took shape, with the deadlock broken, Eccles suffering a period of defensive frailty where more points were pilled on quickly with more tries scored down the flanks. Eccles galvanised at half-time and enjoyed a long period of determined sustained pressure in the 2nd half with prolonged attacks, camping out in the muddy Littleborough 22 just a few yards from the goal line, but coming away without scoring points, only for the opposition to kick long and expose lack of defensive numbers to score easy tries under the posts, as the 13-man Eccles team tired.  Disheartening stuff. On a positive note the sun was out.


Depleted 2XV suffer defeat at De La Salle

De La Salle 2XV 45 – 7 Eccles 2XV 

Saturday 24th March 2018


  • 20 secs   5-0   TRY De La Salle
  • 5 mins    12-0  TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 20 mins            INJURY Eccles (14, head/nose)
  • 38 mins            YELLOW De La Salle
  • HT 12-0
  • 43 mins           INJURY De La Salle (4, head)
  • 45 mins           INJURY Eccles (6, shoulder)
  • 47 mins 19-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 56 mins 26-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 61 mins 33-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 66 mins 40-0   TRY De La Salle; converted
  • 67 mins           YELLOW De La Salle
  • 70 mins 45-0   TRY De La Salle
  • 80 mins 45 -7  TRY Eccles (13 Jones); converted (10 Stimson).
  • FT 45–7 


The second team continue to struggle on with severely depleted numbers and an inconsistent team. Credit must go to all those who showed up and pulled on a shirt, in particular, spectators who, seeing Eccles’ situation, sportingly offered their services. Eccles began with 13 on the field and of them, only 4 had participated in the previous game against Vale of Lune. With late arrivals, wounds, cards and early departures, the tally of numbers on the pitch fluctuated throughout the match and was rarely 15v15. Alongside a full team, the presence of a Physio and a first aid kit was also missed with numerous injuries occurring in a full-blooded contest.

Eccles kicked off but made a disastrous start to the game, surrendering possession to the opposition number 7 on the 10m line, who caught the ball, charged through several half-hearted tackles, and single-handedly scored the opening try with just 20 seconds played, much to the amusement of the home team; 5-0. Eccles continued to play hesitantly. The lack of conviction and communication invited De La Salle to dominate the opening exchanges and from a ruck in a central position inside the Eccles 22, De La Salle moved the ball through their effective backline out to their powerful left winger, who facing a mismatch in defence, bulldozed over in the corner for their second try; converted, despite the angle, with an accurate kick; 12-0.

With just 5 minutes played, things looked ominous for Eccles. However, although the game was to continue with uncontested scrums, the introduction of two more Navy & White shirts at this point made for a far more evenly-balanced competition for the next 35 minutes. With renewed composure and 15 players, Eccles enjoyed more possession. Play moved into the De La Salle half for long periods, the swing in momentum assisted by repeated indiscipline from the home team, who, having begun with all guns blazing, grew more frustrated as the half progressed. On 20 minutes a head collision in midfield, lead to a gashed/broken nose and dramatic blood loss for Eccles 14, Jason X, who unable to continue left the field (15v14). Despite the disadvantage of loosing a man, Eccles continued to compete and with committed tackling, helped by regular De La Salle infringements at the breakdown, the game moved upfield into the home teams’s 22. DLS had a man sent to the bin as half time approached (14v14) but Eccles, who had fought back to recover from the early storm, were unable to turn their possession and pressure into points and the half came to close without further score. HT 12-0

Eccles forward Antony Dutta was unable to continue. Thankfully, Mark Plumridge, spectating on the sidelines had brought kit and boots and was soon on the pitch in the thick of the action. The opening minutes of the second half continued to be an attritional battle. The big De La Salle number 4 left the field with a gushing head split. Shortly after Eccles 7, Hallam X, was unable to continue with a shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff). At 48 minutes, with 15v13 players on the pitch, following a lack of support at a break down Eccles loose possession near the halfway line. The strong De La Salle 11 headed off with the ball on a sweeping diagonal run across the pitch from right to left wing, where he found the space to cruise into the goal area unopposed and score under the posts; converted; 19-0. His individual effort opened the gates for De La Salle who now proceeded to score 4 tries in close succession, with good interplay down the wings using their additional numbers, as Eccles inevitably tired.

Eccles attempt to respond but a promising attack on 65 minutes is thwarted when the skipper twists his ankle on the choppy surface. Heroically, he limps on.  De La Salle earned a second Dairylea slice later in the game but the rebalance in numbers and possession was too late to change the result for Eccles. The 2XV persevered to the end, making a number of determined attacks and their efforts earned them a well-worked try at the death, with fullback Tom Wilson catching a high clearance kick and speed and passing combining to send centre Phil Jones through the gap on the left for the try; converted by Andy Stimson.  FT 45-7


  1. Stu Cork
  2. Andy Davies
  3. Antony Dutta
  4. Tony Simpson
  5. Dave Cusick
  6. Hallam
  7. Matt Nombela
  8. Washy
  9. Andy Stimson
  10. Alun Davies (c)
  11. Phil Jones
  12. Jason
  13. Tom Wilson

Replacement Mark Plumbridge


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

  • 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 

  • 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 2s lammed by Lune

Eccles 2XV  5 – 85 Vale of Lune 2XV 

Saturday 10th March 2018


Preparations for this crucial Division 2 North relegation clash were hampered by the  familiar late scramble to assemble a team. Eccles had just 13 players begin the warm up, but thankfully by kick off had mustered a full team and two replacements. The positive news sadly ended there. On 5 minutes, after a competitive opening, Eccles Flanker Liam ‘Viking’ Costain suffered a high tackle as he attempted to exit the 22 with the ball, sustaining a nasty double fracture to his right arm as he hit the ground. Costain had already contributed two cracking tackles in the few minutes he was on the pitch and his work rate and commitment would be a great loss to the team. As Physio Janey attended to bagging up bits of his arm the game continued.

Eccles moved play into opposition territory and following good work by the forwards on the right; and quick action by alert Scrum-Half Tom Wilson; the ball was shipped swiftly through the centres out to left winger U18 colt Damola Ayanlaja, who applied the gas, handed off and finished for the opening try in the corner on 8mins; unconverted 5-0.

The visitors responded straight from the restart; a 5m scrum awarded for a knock on, right under the Eccles posts gave Vale the opportunity to take lead with a try at 14 mins; converted 5-7.

At this point, this reporter departed what was an evenly-balanced game to take Mr Costain to Salford Royal A&E. On return, the scoreboard was collapsing under the numerals 5-75. I’m informed the scrum was strong and effective throughout but clearly there were problems in many other areas. Cammi Higgingbottom was sent to the bin in the second half for a late tackle. The last two tries witnessed were scored in quick succession in the final minutes as Vale blitzed through the middle of the disheartened Eccles defence. Final score FT 5-85

Quite a different game and result from the 0-35 victory Eccles 2XV enjoyed up at Vale of Lune in November. Appreciation to all those who pulled on navy and white shirt and did their best. The men’s section continues to suffer dark times. Despite this I’m sure everyone at the club wishes Liam a swift and positive recovery from his injury and iminent surgery.


  1. Nick Morrissey
  2. Dave Roper
  3. Chris
  4. Declan O’Regan
  5. Tony Simpson
  6. Kyle Pickford
  7. Liam Costain
  8. Cameron Higgingbottom (Y)
  9. Tom Wilson
  10. Andy Stimpson
  11. Billy Morrison
  12. Pete Heseltine
  13. Jordan Bromley
  14. Damola Ayanlaja (1T)
  15. Nathan Newlove
  16. Stuart Cork
  17. Gary Hamer