Junior Colts get 17/18 campaign of to a winning start

Summer holidays are over, mums and dads all around Eccles breathe a huge sigh of relief, FaceBook resembles a school uniform catalogue and most importantly of all, the rugby season has commenced.

A typically damp Salford Autumnal day welcomed visitors from afar, Millom RUFC to M30 as we embarked on the 2017/18 Junior Colts season. The damp weather however didn’t dampen the spirits of the Eccles lads as they got the season off to a fantastic start with a clear and well deserved victory against a quick and physical Millom side.

Eccles started well with Dan Aspinall scoring within the first 10 minutes. Once ahead, Eccles began to show levels of class and composure, so often apparent in training but frustratingly forgotten on the field. The lads were fully in to their stride by the time I had my first re-taste of my breakfast and seemed comfortable throughout the early part of the game, spending much of it camped well inside the Millom half and in possession of the ball. A kicked penalty from Matthew Walker opened up a 10 point gap and two further try’s soon followed, stretching the Eccles lead to 24 points

Eccles didn’t have everything their own way and Millom got themselves back into the game with a converted try; although the Eccles TMOmg suggested was held up by the thickness of Harry Candland’s chest. This didn’t provide Millom with the springboard back in to the game that they would have hoped, as it was Eccles who reacted best to this, going on to score three more try’s (two converted) before the full time whistle.

Eccles displayed their full gamut of try scoring capabilities; fast passing and even faster pins from Rob Strickland; bulldozing power from Dan Aspinall and Shea Skillicon; top drawer 10 play from Matthew Walker. For me though, the most camera worthy moment of the game came as Joe Rapinett collected the ball outside the Millom twenty two, he handed off the first man, dropped his shoulder and sent the second and third men for a hot dog and a lollipop, he weaved left, stepped right, held off tackle after tackle before crossing the line. Like a true student of the sport he continued his run and carried the ball under the posts, minded to present a simple two point conversion for Matthew. Not a soul within 10 metres of him, there is nothing on Gods earth that could prevent Joe touching the ball to ground and collecting the five valuable points. Hold on, lets recap for one second here ….. Joe Rapinett collected the ball…… Yes, suddenly there is one thing that could prevent the try being scored!!

An audible collective groan went up around the ground as first the ball slipped from under Joe’s right arm. He reached out with his left hand, knocking the ball to the right but agonisingly beyond the reach of his outstretched hand. Like a bar of soap in the prison shower-block, Joe was desperate not to allow it to bounce to the ground for fear of what fate might befall him. Silence and a couple of murmured expletives followed as the ball rolled across the grass like a big girl dancing to Beyonce before harmlessly nestling amid the damp Eccles turf

Eccles Junior Colts’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. Josh Green
  2. Dan Aspinall
  3. Matty Lee
  4. Oliver Wright
  5. James Fletcher
  6. Joe Rapinett
  7. Albert Tonoyan
  8. Keiron Reed
  9. Nat Kelsey
  10. Matthew Walker
  11. Rob Strickland
  12. Harry Candland
  13. Shea Skillicorn
  14. Ed Hampson
  15. Brad Palmer


  1. Max Riley
  2. David Smith
  3. James Wright
  4. Joe Borrett

Scores on the Doors

Eccles RFC 43 – 7 Millom RUFC

Eccles Scorers

  • Matthew Walker Try x 1; Conversions x 5; Penalty x 1
  • Dan Aspinall Try x 2
  • Rob Strickland Try x 1
  • Shea Skillicorn Try x 1
  • James Wright Try x 1

Notable Mentions

Eccles Man of the Match was awarded to Dan Aspinall by the players of Millon RUFC. Two tremendous try’s capped off a powerful performance from the Eccles Hooker

A big shout out to U16 Joe Borrett who played up for the Junior Colts and didn’t look out of place one bit

Despite the referee spending a good amount of time 👀 👀 explaining the changes to the rules, the lads were still guilty of far too many infringements. This lack of discipline resulted in the loss of countless yards on the field and eventually a cheese slice each for Joe Rapinett & Nat Kelsey for very minor but persistent infringements. No doubt the time spent in the sin-bin was considered harsh by the lads but to be fair to the referee, both cards came after a series of prior warnings to the team.

With a full fifteen on the pitch for 100% of the game, a little more composure and a little less baby lotion on the hands of Joe Rapinett, the score may well have been a 50+ to nil. Well done lads!

It was registration day today and I’m not sure who makes up the full squad but from last season the AWOL’s are Jack Williams, Alex Hardman, Alex Thornton & Ellis Pearson. Hopefully these guys will soon be back, bolstering our numbers

Award for quote of the day goes to my lovely other half:

Christ, what has John done to the kit?

Errrr, that’s Millom Lindsay…

Many thanks to Holly Grimes dad for his ‘on ya head son’ pass to me and also to Superfan Danielle for rendering me partially deaf my left ear 🙂

Next episode:

Training on Monday and Wednesday but I understand there is nothing planned for this coming Sunday (10th September) as Penrith have withdrawn their Junior Colts team. Therefore our next fixture will again be at Eccles as we welcome Blackburn RUFC to Gorton Street. Blackburn also got their season off to a fine start against Winnington Park where they secured a 17 – 15 home win; Blackburn travel to Bowden before their trip to M30 on the 17th September

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Match Report. I can’t promise to do one every game, but I’ll do one when I can

David – today’s flag placement manager (badly I think), post protector fixer, linesman, ball boy and reporter