Junior Colts too strong for Clitheroe

A slightly depleted Clitheroe made the journey from East Lancashire down to Gorton Street to fulfil todays Conference League fixture. Given the recent disappointment following the postponement of the Oxton fixture the lads were chomping at the bit to get some game time under their belts.

Eccles started well and were totally dominant throughout the game. Despite their valiant efforts Clitheroe found the Eccles tempo just too difficult to compete with. The game didn’t present itself as being particularly one sided however Eccles were able to score at will and never looked as though they would concede.

Clitheroe did have some decent possession but Eccles defended like Spartans from the Front Row of Ellis, Josh and Dan, right through the team to the last defensive line of Brad Palmer who given the result etc had a fair amount of possession.

It was a courageous effort from our visitors who conducted themselves really well. At one point it was clear that their heads had dropped having conceded a third Try but they rallied and although couldn’t manage to break through the Eccles defence, still gave absolutely everything for their club colours.

A tally of ten Trys didn’t flatter the lads in Navy & White but to concede with the last play of the match came as a bitter disappointment to the lads who had defended so impressively throughout.

Another three valuable points collected – an absolute joy to watch.

Eccles Junior Colts’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. Ellis Pearson
  2. Josh Green
  3. Dan Aspinal
  4. Max Riley
  5. James Fletcher
  6. Joe Rapinett
  7. Matty Lee
  8. Keiron Reed
  9. Nat Kelsey
  10. Matthew Walker
  11. Harry Candland
  12. Shea Skillicorn
  13. Jack Williams
  14. Rob Strickland
  15. Brad Palmer


  1. David Smith – Started for Clitheroe


  1. Jordan Burns
  2. Ed Hampson
  3. Alex Hardman


  1. Albert Tonoyan
  2. Joe Borrett
  3. John Grundy
  4. Chris Gillard
  5. Josh Stafford

Scores on the Doors

Full Time 66 – 5

Eccles Try Scorers

  • Rob Strickland
  • Dan Aspinall x 4
  • Harry Candland x 2
  • Jack Williams
  • Brad Palmer
  • Keiron Reed

Eccles Conversions

  • Matthew Walker x 8 / 10


Eccles Man of the Match was awarded by Clitheroe to Harry Candland who had fantastic impact on the game and final result with his fast, jinking runs from his own half, carrying the ball deep in to the Clitheroe half, bagging himself a brace of Trys to boot. All the players have aspects of their game that they need to work on and Harry is no exception with his poor performance in the Eccles Cake & pint (of lemonade) challenge.

Notable Mentions

David Smith put in a shift in Clitheroe colours during the first half however most of his work seemed to be in vain as Clitheroe failed to find him as he made good space for himself on multiple occasions. Switching to his more familiar Navy & White David dropped back in to his usual role at Prop and went on to have a great second half at the heart of all of Eccles good work.

Ellis Pearson and James Fletcher took up the mantle of representing Clitheroe during the second half. James and Ellis saw a good amount of the ball during their spell in the maroon hoops, making their usual fully committed runs at the Eccles Forwards. Many of these runs were brought to a halt by the magnificent combination of Jack Williams and Max Riley, neither of which missed a tackle the whole game.

Jack managed to get himself a well deserved Try and could have had another if he had managed to ground the ball in an earlier attempt. Jack’s attitude and application today was exactly what all the players, coaches and supporters love to see. A magnificent performance Jack which followed on from an equally impressive training session last Wednesday.

Josh Green missed this mornings weather report and dignity check as he turned up in a pair or his mums 40 denier tights.

Not forgetting Keiron Reed who had his Cinderella moment, only bringing one boot to the ball this morning.

Matthew Walker gave another first class exhibition of kicking today, finding the posts from pretty much everywhere in fairly awful  underfoot conditions. One miss and one off the upright prevented Matt from a full house of kicks.


The attitude of the lads today was excellent with hardly anyone being yellow carded for dissent!

Support play – possibly the best support play we have seen from the lads. Jack, Max and Joe all deserving a mention for their hard work

Eccles ran in Trys at will, playing fantastic rugby, quick, decisive passing through hands, fast to the Ruck and an unprecedented level of support play.

Fine 10 play and impeccable kicking from Matthew


Less secure in the Line-Out than usual, a lack of concentration / communication cost Eccles good possession at the Line-Out on a couple of occasions

Discipline cost us 10 minutes of a numerical advantage as Ellis copped for a cheese slice. This didn’t really matter today but there will be games when such indiscipline could see us turn a wining position to a losing one. Referees are like women, they are always right even when they are clearly wrong – an understanding and acceptance of this make life a whole lot easier.

League Table


No game next week so the lads can have a well earned rest before we host another team from East Lancashire, Burnley RFC who we had a convincing victory over at the start of December 17. The lads will be confident going in to this game but will still need to work hard because Burnley have had some close games since our win against them, losing to Colne by just a couple of Trys.