Junior Colts return to winning ways

What a difference a week makes.

Following a fairly abject performance away at Bowden last week, the Eccles Junior Colts appeared to have addressed all negative aspects of their last game to put in a real winners performance on a day where the Eccles rugby family came together to show respect and rememberJeff Crompton.

Jeff was honoured prior to kick off with a minutes applause and although I didn’t know Jeff, I am sure he would have enjoyed the quality rugby demonstrated by both sets of Junior Colts and would have had a good old chuckle as his friends and team mates took to the field afterwards.

A great turn out at Wednesdays rain soaked training session clearly paid dividends for the lads; the work put in by new Assistant (to the) Coach, Mark Candland with the Backs was clear to see as the ball was moved quickly from hand to hand across the line as Eccles  relentlessly pressurised the Winnington Park defence throughout the game.

Winnington Park brought a physical game to Gorton Street, they have a powerful pack which Eccles struggled to contain at times with the scrum always appearing to move in the wrong direction for the Eccles lads. However, despite this Eccles managed close on 100% ball retention from their own scrummage due to fine footwork from the Front Row, Locks and Number 8. It serves as an excellent example of how to retain possession against a more powerful scrum.

The game could be looked at in thirds; Eccles totally dominant in the first and final thirds of the match, Winnington Park making more of a game and scoring most of their points during the ten minutes either side of half time. When Eccles were on top, they were very much on top. Their fluid passing, clever interplay and intelligent decision making of the Backs was matched by the courage and power of the Forwards as Eccles made metres upon metres of ground.

The Eccles Trys came from an eclectic mix of players. The Try scored by Shea S was an opportunistic effort when he was first to spot and react to the loose ball on the halfway, picking it up and Gump running the ball in to the Try line. Harry C scored right in the corner after collecting the ball inside the Winnington Park twenty-two and powering to the line, riding challenge upon challenge before grounding the ball under intense pressure from the Winnington Park defence. John G gave a couple of glimpses of his pace on the left as Matt W kicked cross-field for John to chase. John was agonisingly close to scoring from this move on a couple of occasions before eventually opening up his Junior Colts account with a ‘step left, step right, have that’ Try late in the second half, securing the Eccles victory.

All the Try’s today were fantastically created and executed but my favourite has to be that which Hooker David S scored in the first half. He seemed to glide effortlessly past the Winnington Park defence with his Michael Flatley footwork, crossing the line right in the corner before ensuring Matt W had the most simple of conversions as he cantered across and placed the ball beneath the posts.

All in all it was a fine performance from the Eccles lads who were fully deserving of their win; a points gap of twelve serves only to flatter todays opponents, such was the domination of the Eccles lads.

Next week sees us welcome Heaton Moor in the penultimate Preliminary fixture of the season. We have played Heaton Moor numerous times and have often come away with nothing other than thoughts of ‘we could have won that game if…’ So lets put everything (full squad x 100%) into this weeks training sessions, prepare properly for Sunday’s game so we can walk away with thoughts of ‘we won that because…’


Eccles Junior Colts’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. Josh G
  2. Dan A
  3. Ellis P
  4. Chris G
  5. James F
  6. Joe R
  7. Ed H
  8. Keiron R
  9. Nat K
  10. Matthew W
  11. Rob S
  12. Harry C
  13. Shea S
  14. Max R
  15. Brad P


  • John G
  • David S
  • Jack W
  • Joe B


  • Matty L
  • Alex H


  • Albert T


  • James W
  • Oliver W

Scores on the Doors

Full Time 29 – 17

Eccles Try Scorers – Harry C, John G, David S and Shea S

Eccles Conversions – Walker x 4 + 1 penalty (or 100% if you like)


Notable Mentions

Eccles Man of the Match was awarded to Chris G by the players of Winnington Park RFC. The strength of Eccles RFC at this Junior / Senior age group is just astonishing. For an U16 to slot in to the Junior Colts with such ease, to play with such composure, strength, pace and power and to then be recognised by the opposition as the man of the match is a personal fantastic achievement. Very well done Chris!

Iodine Mark Skillicorn found himself called in to action half a dozen times today, responding to knocks to, amongst others Harry C, David S and Jack W. Does anyone have a clue what Iodine Mark has in that squirt bottle

Wow! John G, Joe B and Chris G. What can you say about these lads? Absolutely phenomenal performances from all three lads. Chris will take the plaudits as he landed the EMoM but Joe B looks more and more assured as part of the Junior Colts and John G scored a try of the highest quality and in truth, could have had a second try too.

Its very sad to see that BOGOF James and Oliver W have decided to move on from rugby. They will always be a part of the Junior Colts family and we hope to see them back supporting when they have chance to (if not the boys then definitely Peter & Jo)

Unlike many of you, I have never played rugby, I’m JAFO but I did feel that the cheese slices handed out firstly to Joe R and then later in the game to Josh G were unusually harsh for the offence of ‘failing to retreat 10m’. Just to clarify, although I never played the game, I would have been minimum County level if I had.

Back from Hollywood and straight into the front row, Ellis P picked up where he left off at the end of the successful U16s season with a solid, vocal and passionate performance.

Its only 85 more sleeps to Christmas and we are all wondering what to buy that special person in our life. So it was with relief that the lads gave us a catwalk of the latest clutch of designer handbags. First Matt W whipped out the Christian Louboutin Paloma as recently carried by Jennifer Lopez before Joe R stepped in with a Gucci Marmont to the grid of the winger. Suddenly it was like the 1st day of the January sales in the foyer of Salford TK Maxx – Vuitton’s everywhere!

Jack W!! what can we say about Jack? Twice he was over the Try line and twice he quite correctly saw his Try chalked off. Offside and a forward pass. Jack had the Winnington Park full back well and truly tucked neatly in his pocket but was denied on both occasions.

Many thanks to todays official who, save a couple of well dodgy decisions, had a fantastic game. He was impartial, honest and ensured a safe and competitive game for everyone.

Very well done to all who contributed to this weekends Macmillan Coffee morning. I can confirm that this little Welsh cakes were very nice. For those who want to contribute to Macmillan Cancer Support but don’t eat cakes, heres a link for you Macmillan 


There is a strong rumour circulating that the lads will soon be benefitting from specialist Forward coaching as Billy Borrett has threatened to chisel the crust off his web-ridden Kooga’s and get involved in Junior Colts

Voice of Reason

Award for quote of the day is a tough one as there we’re a good few contenders. Here are some of my favourites:

“Go on Shea, go on Shea, yes thats it Shea – oh, thats not Shea”

“Oy – who are you punching ya £@§”

“Well yeah, its all down to the coaching I did with the Backs”

“We were below par today 

and of course…


Todays Match Report was brought to you by two pints of lager & lime (yes lime) and a number of hits from a 1995 Distillers Edition Lagavulin (Double Matured)