Depleted Junior Colts fall short at Winnington Park

The lads of the Eccles Junior Colts arrived at Winnington Park RUFC with a depleted team of just 14 players. A mix of injuries, holidays, no shows and the fact that the Under 16’s also had an important fixture forced Coach Kevin to ask several players to play in positions that they hadn’t played before.

Unfortunately for Eccles, despite putting in a courageous effort they would see themselves go down to a Winnington side that defended well and counter attacked, using the additional space that the reduced Eccles numbers afforded.

At 20 – 0 down, Eccles looked beaten however a rash challenge saw Winnington temporarily reduced to 14 players as the offending player had his six minutes in the sin-bin. During this time Eccles dominated, running in two Trys and a conversion to bring the half to a close at 20 – 12.

The second half got under way and almost immediately Winnington were back up to a full 15 players and soon extended their lead. Eccles were becoming frustrated and the lads began to question a number of the Referees decisions; many of which appeared as ‘curious’ to the spectators as the earlier reduced sin-bin. However, this frustration and disarray only seemed to spur the Winnington players on as they ran in three further Trys, Eccles only managing to respond with a single Try in the second half.

As spectators we have seen a few decisions this season that have made us inwardly and sometimes vocally question the referee, which is fine and there may even be a bit of Rose Tinted Spectacles involved; the lads however have to just suck it up and get on with the game. The last thing we need is to see lads sin-binned for vocal dissent in games that we must now win.

Full Time 40 – 17

Facts & Figures

Starting XIV

  1. Josh Green
  2. Dan Aspinall
  3. David Smith
  4. Matty Lee
  5. Max Riley
  6. Joe Rapinett
  7. James Fletcher
  8. N/a
  9. Tanny Kelsey
  10. Matt Walker
  11. Shea Skillicorn
  12. Harry Candland
  13. Ed Hampson
  14. Robert Strickland
  15. Jack Williams

Eccles Scorers

  • Matthew Walker Try x 1; Conversion x 1
  • Josh Green Try x 1
  • Rob Strickland Try x 1


Todays Eccles Man of the Match was awarded by the Coaches and Players of Winnington Park to Nat ‘Tanny’ Kelsey. In terms of stature, Tanny is one of the smaller members of the Eccles squad but still manages to pretty much take my car door off its hinges when he closes it.  Playing at Scrum Half today Tanny provided the perfect link between the Eccles Forwards and Backs; physically tough and mentally resilient Tanny consistently takes on bigger and heavier players in attack and defence, more often than not putting them on their backside. Well done Tanny

Notable Mentions

There were others but Max Riley put in a magnificent performance today at Second Row, a position he has never played before. Another player who played out of position was Jack Williams who played at the last line of Defence in a position which the injured Brad Palmer has made his own. Jack played well and was clearly upset, blaming himself for a Try that everyone watching clearly saw as just an unfortunate bounce of the ball – definitely not Jacks fault. A few of us were concerned though as Jack stood with his head in his hands just in case he dropped it.

Line Outs! What happened to our Line Outs today? So often one of our best assets, today they just looked ordinary.

Other than the usual knocks and bruises there seemed to be only one injury today and it was good to see David Smith walking well on his injured ankle at the end of the game.


The sausage rolls and bacon barms which were available outside were decent enough but despite having pretty good facilities, the post-match scran wasn’t in the same league as the stuff that is provided at Eccles and the lads couldn’t shower properly as the water was cold. The beer too was a little bit of a let-down, no craft ales or the like

Quotes of the Day

Give the ball to Rob. Rob, make that ball yours. Give the ball to Rob, Give it to Rob, Give the ball to……Don’t give it to him there for Gods sake!!

Coach Kevin

Oooh, can we sit in that stadium thingi?

Danielle Hackett

Yeah, we had a winger in the second row too

Coach Winnie

Next Up

Next week sees the second team from the insular peninsular visit Gorton Street as we host Oxton Parkonian RUFC in our fourth game of the series. For those of you who failed CSE Geography, Oxton is just outside Birkenhead on the North side of the Wirral peninsular; the Wirral is near Liverpool and a peninsular is an area of land almost surrounded by water or projecting out into a body of water – in this instance, the Irish Sea.

Oxton have started the season well at home with wins against Colne and Burnley, but fell short on their only previous away trip, losing by 16 points to Clitheroe.

We can expect a competitive game against Oxton however the lads should go into the game with confidence against a side that have only won four fixtures so far this season, including the Preliminary games.