Annual Subs 2017/18


Annual subs photo

Annual subscriptions for adults are now due. This is essential income that goes towards keeping the showers hot and the lights on. The costs are below:

Players (full membership) – £40 or £3 per month SO
Non-players (full membership) – £25 or £2 per month SO
Social (discount match/event entry only) – £15 or £1 per month SO

Cash payments can be made to the bar, ensuring that your name and ‘annual subs’ is clearly recorded. Completed Standing Order sheets should be submitted to the Acting Membership Secretaries.

In addition to payment, a Membership Form must be completed to ensure that the club have up-to-date contact and emergency contact information for everyone, and to indicate how you have paid. Membership Forms should also be submitted to the Acting Membership Secretaries.

This season’s Acting Membership Secretaries are Paul and Heather Thorpe.

The deadline for subscriptions to be renewed is Sunday 1st October. After this date any membership rewards (including eligibility to play) will be withdrawn.

Understrength Junior Colts slip to defeat in Liverpool

Not the result that Eccles were hoping for against a side that we matched quite well last season in a game decided by a couple of breakaway trys. Despite only having 14 players for the 1st 20 minutes Eccles started well but fell behind to three quick trys from our hosts, two of which ought to have been prevented by better organised defending. The lads dug in and matched Liverpool through to half time despite injuries to the tenacious Tanny who had to be withdrawn following an accidental stud to the side of his head and Josh who was able to continue playing.

Once again the Junior Colts were bolstered by the magnificent Joe B, John G and Chris G, all of whom put in huge shifts for the team; however the injuries to David S, Jack W, Matt W, Joe R and more long term Alex H, left the side depleted and as the game moved into the last quarter the energy levels of the Eccles lads began to visibly fade given the relentless pressure from Liverpool.

A few new faces were in the Liverpool line up since our last meeting

This has been a very hard report to write, I have desperately tried to be unemotional, impartial and not to dwell on the negatives. It may be brief but has taken hours of editing. Sorry if I missed any key action or outstanding performances

Eccles Junior Colts’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. Josh
  2. Dan
  3. Matty
  4. Joe B
  5. James
  6. Ed
  7. Chris
  8. Keiron
  9. Tanny
  10. Harry
  11. John
  12. Shea
  13. Rob
  14. Max
  15. Brad



Scores on the Doors

The game was brought to a premature conclusion with Eccles trailing 55 – 0

Unfortunately there wasn’t an exchange of Man of the Match nominations so I have taken it upon myself to award the Eccles EMoM. Some great performances, tireless carries from Chris, Shea, Josh, Matty, Keiron (I’ll end up mentioning everyone here so – ) I award the EMoM to the indefatigable Brad. Positive, energetic and utterly fearless.

Notable Mentions

Mark Skillicorn gets a massive thank you from me for stepping in to help Joe as the on-field festivities spilled over. Mark was last seen busily peeling off a parent and half a dozen players who had from the spectating lad. A parent though…makes you think eh?

Huge thanks to the parent who interacted with Joe R; your cowardly and despicable actions have reminded me how much respect I have for the family that is Eccles RFC Junior Colts

I do hope the lady from Liverpool who was knocked to the ground as play spilled over the touchline is unhurt. She took a huge tumble and was on the ground for some time

Joe B – that final tackle was a belter!

Many thanks to David Blunkett for marking out todays pitch.

Point of Order

We could do with sorting out a rota for picking up the touchline duties. We only need one person per match – its tedious if you do it all the time (unless you’re Chris the Whistle) but it’d help out a lot if we could arrange it such that the coaches and physio don’t end up picking this role up.

Handbags and Gladrags

Fine Tackle from Joe B

Unintentionally high

Collision with the water bottles

Keep your heads

It needn’t escalate

New handbags on display

Game looks in jeopardy

Referee calls for calm

All involved are separated

Time is called on the game

Stupidity prevails


Unless we compete in the forthcoming Cup Competition the lads will have a short break from competitive matches which should give the injured lads time to recover; but it really is imperative that everyone who can train, attend Wednesday training. The games are getting more and more difficult and the graft of Wednesday training is the only way they will be ready. We have had some great results so far and some brilliant performances where we have just fallen short on the scoreline such as last weeks game against Heaton Moor. With Kevin now supported by both Mark and Billy the lads should be buzzing for training

“Train Hard, Fight Easy” – Count Alexander Suvorov

Blue and white remembered hills

Apology alert. In the recent fossils match report misinformation led me to attribute 71 years to Brian Griffiths I can categorically state that is fake news he is only a mere  69 years 6 months old and this has been verified by carbon dating.That match led me to muse on the fossils outing of a couple of years ago  after our Thursday work party labours . It was around Brunty,s birthday and eschewing the usual cake a canal trip from Eccles to Astley was undertaken with visits to watering holes en route.With captain Cooke on tiller we  wended of a fashion towards Crommies old stomping ground  where he was in his element pointing out all the long gone features and life down  pit .Whenever rugby players whatever age gather conversation always turns to past deeds (and misdeeds ) the fossils  being not exceptions were  soon in full flow leading Jeff as was his want to bring out his repertoire of old songs and ditties. Astley was eventually reached the turn round point so another break was in order for refreshment in the sunshine .Suitably revived we embarked for the return trip with helmsman Dave Nich supervising cast off however Jeff pint in hand being a bit tardy was coming aboard as the barge swung away from the canal bank a yawning gap appeared between his legs .Willing hands pulled him aboard but Jeff seemed less put out about the imminent prospect of a dunking in the  Bridgewater than at losing half his pint.The now mellowed jolly gang enjoyed a sunny evening cruise back as the swifts appeared sweeping and darting above the water as if to remind us of the days when we too flitted across  pitches far and wide .There was still evidence in that fossils match that not all the flittedness had been lost   a bit more waddle maybe  (.rose coloured glasses you  may say I say beware my white stick).The Boat House was safely reached but worryingly a police car was on the quay question who had done what ? answer nothing a mere co incidence which is not always the case on rugby trips .A few nightcaps rounded off a most enjoyable day .The industrial landscape passed on the trip may be hidden under the cloak of nature but it is still there and so are memories not visible but always there under the surface to be revisted


Eccles 3rd 27 v Didsbury Toc H 15 16/10/2017

In a persistant drizzle the seesaw season continued with the first and possibly fleeting appearances of Pete Jones , Sam Thompson , Joel Bruton,James Cunningham and Steve Lillee meant a rare full team .Only 2 minutes in and from a line out Eccles drove forward and Thompson steamed in at the corner (5-0) .Having for once the heavier pack the 3rds dominated possession allowing the backs to adventure and on 15 mins centre Matt Hill broke away and slipped a cute pass Riddick Manaye on the touchline who raced in for a try  (10-0) . A line out on 25mins in their own 22 saw risky Eccles passing before Hill sliced through into the visitors half handing on to the supporting Manaye who sped off under the posts with Thompson adding the conversion 17-0 .Losing a prop to injury Toc soldiered on but the pressure told and the scrums went uncontested   and they pulled back a penalty (17-3) close half time but there was still time for Hill to go blind from a penalty resulting with Jack Walton scoring (22-3)  .Just 3 mins into second half an Eccles attack faltered on half way with slack pass which was gathered by the Toc winger who sprinted away for a touchdown. (22-8) .A fair share of possession gave Toc some impetus and an uncomfortable 10 mins of defending for the 3rds who took until 65th min to register another score  when a simple move saw centre Craig Cartwright arrow the visitors defence for a smart try (27-8)  Toc had the last say in 70th min from a home scrum when an Eccles pass was knocked forward (unseen) by Toc regathered for a scrambled try (27-15) In the conditions the handling was excellent with forward dominance in the first half allowing free rein to attack .A measure of parity of possession in the second half  still saw Eccles mounting more of the attacks but lacking the execution of the first half with unforced errors and penalties conceded. Nonetheless a bright performance on a dismal for a deserved and much needed win.

Eccles U12s -v- Preston Grass Hoppers/Wythenshawe

The U12s took on another round-robin fixture at the weekend in an effort to reverse recent back-to-back defeats. So it was thanks to Leeann, our wonderful fixtures secretary, that two teams sent respectable numbers along to Gorton Street.

First up were Preston GH.

The boys have encountered some real good, hard games down the last few seasons against Hoppers, so it was an opportunity to test themselves against a quality opposition.

With near perfect conditions for rugby, Eccles kicked off, although just managing to field a full team after late selection difficulties, their intention was laid clear from Referee Clarkes’ first whistle as Lewis and Scott chased the KO to apply some early pressure. As the Hoppers centre caught the ball he had one eye on the rushing attackers and didn’t quite take possession cleanly. Lucas snapped up the loose ball and was supported into the contact by Evan.

With Matt playing in an unusual role of scrum half, he directed a lovely pass to Heath who, against his old club, wasn’t about to waste his moment of glory! Still with a lot to do before reaching the try line, Heath took a great angle to shift the Hoppers defence sideways and then use his power to breach the tackles before finishing cleanly! 1-0 Eccles.

The second try came after shortly after, following some good ball carrying by Shayne. A good set-up at the ruck saw Matt involved again as he slipped the ball to Adam just on the halfway mark. Adam set off up the right hand wing to blister his way past the defender for a well taken score.

As halftime loomed, Hoppers rallied to put in some good aggressive attacks down the middle to force Eccles onto their back-foot. A restart following a Hoppers foot in touch, was taken quickly deep in the Eccles half as Evan, in fine form, crashed the ball up for Maxwell to support him at the breakdown. This time Matt took the ball from Ollie to finish as the whistle sounded the halftime interlude.

Halftime:  3 – 0  Eccles.

Jake came on to replace Finn at hooker as the second half kicked off. The game plan now revolved around getting the ball wide, and quickly, to get the wingers involved. Scott was on form although a little frustrated at not getting the service he desired out wide. Lewis constantly looked to get involved and saw some good ball retention which would see him on the score sheet eventually. It was Max who stepped up next with his trademark bulldoze to the line from a break down close to the Hoppers try line.

Taz put in a tremendous tackle to stop a promising Hoppers attack to dislodge the ball that turned defence into attack. Lucas, also in great form, scooped up the ball to move it laterally to Ollie. As Ollie stood up in the tackle, he just managed to ship it to Heath who set off from a standing start before claiming his second try. Matthew then grabbed his second as Shayne came on for Max and Ollie dropped out to balance things. Cameron, back from injury, enjoyed a great game and would also finish the day with his name on the score card.

In the end, although a fantastic effort from Hoppers, it was Eccles who took the spoils comfortably 8-0

In the second game, it was a newly formed Wythenshawe team in only their second ever game that took to the field. Eccles dropped off a couple of players in the scrum to further balance the contest. Ollie had licence to play along side his centres in a flat attacking line, rather than staying deep to thwart any threats, as he took a pop pass from Evan before snaking towards the try line.

It was looking from very early on that this would be one-way traffic. However, the Wythenshawe boys never gave up and the spirit they showed was evident all through their squad.

The Eccles boys now revealed themselves to be able to finally play some open rugby. With some slick moves off the training field, it would test them with ball in hand. Finn came back on and slotted back into his hookers role. With a clean hook near the ‘shawe line, Matt fed Lucas who drew the defenders before finding Adam. Again, his speed of foot was too much as he finished to set the score board rolling.

In the second half, with a few changes in the Eccles ranks, Cameron nailed his first for the club in between Lewis (also bagging his first tries) claiming three on the day.

Evan deservedly got on the score card, along with a wide spread of scorers, to give the Gorton St lads a comfortable win at 11- 0

Coaches point of view:

It was refreshing to see the boys ‘cut loose’ and enjoy the kind of rugby they have threatened to play for a while now. If they can put the same levels of efforts and skills and confidence in to the next few fixtures, there should be some great contests. The range of scorers stretched across the squad and it was great to see our new boys bagging tries.

We still need to focus on our game plan and getting the ball to do the work rather than making unnecessary runs, especially into the contact zone. However, watching the lads carry the ball comfortably and retaining possession instead of ‘giving it away cheaply’ was good to see.

There’s more to come, but, they CAN do it!

  • Memorable Mentions: Ref Andy, officiating against his old club and doing a wonderful job (in OUR view anyhow Andy!) Vicky for the match stats and helping clear away the playing surface after the games (and Mike also!). Pam for food logistics and getting 30+ lads fed.

Thanks and good luck to John from Wythenshawe and thanks to Mark from Hoppers also.

  • Eccles Squad: Ollie, Lucas (Capt), Jake, Scott, Shayne, Lewis, Cameron, Adam, Taz, Max, Matthew, Heath,  

Training this Weds 11th Oct from 6.30pm. All welcome including new players!

Carrington Barbarians 26 v Eccles 3rd 15 31/09/2017

The 3rds travelled to Trafford MV  to take on Carrington Barbarians with only 10 men to start but the hosts

loaned 5 players to even the teams, The first quarter saw Eccles hemmed in their own half but the defence was exemplary
thwarting attack after attack and the first foray in home territory saw excellent handling for one of the loanees to score a fine
try (5-0) However straight from the restart the home side shifted the ball wide to score a well worked try (5-7) John Brookes took
an accidental blow to the head and replaced by the newly arrived Mark Plumbridge  .An even contest turned the 3rds way when smart play
saw Liam Thornley touchdown (10-7) to lead at the interval.At half time there was a loanee reshuffle and Paul Thornley also replaced one of them.
The second half  was closely contested both sides having chances with going further ahead when after a series of penalties Matt tapped and went over himself (15-7). Carrington pressed and pulled a try back(15-12) but not until a scruffy try late into the game that they nosed ahead (15-21) and final minute try sealed a 15-26 home victory. A fine match the first proper one of the season most enjoyable thanks to sportsmanship of Carrington .Excellent performances from all the Eccles crew with the Liam and Ryan Thornley really lively with the backs Martin Coop (a dad and lad day with Andy playing ) Matt ,Reg and Jason dangerous. The forwards Ben Prince  Mark,Paul and Andy defended and carried well with skipper
at scrum half Gary Hamer most satisfied with the performance and that all his passes were caught.

Second half courage and pride almost bring victory for Junior Colts

If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. The first half was a catalogue of poor decisions, loose play, comedic line-outs and an overall lack of confidence. The result of this was that Eccles went in at half time 12 points down having failed to put any amount of pressure on the Heaton Moor defence. Everything that Eccles tried, failed, whether it was short line-outs, long line-outs, kick to touch – everything.

As the second half got underway there seemed to be nothing to suggest that things were going to change as an attempted clearance from inside the Eccles twenty two only carried fifteen metres and straight into the waiting arms of the Heaton Moor Forward. As the Moor player grounded the ball, something was said / done that clearly riled the Eccles lads and following the customary handbag exhibition, there seemed to be a flick in the positive direction of the Eccles Collective Desire Switch.

This moment of common and shared frustration, disappointment and anger proved to be the turning moment in the game. For the next twenty Five minutes it was all Eccles. The Backs Harry, Brad, Max etc were running with confidence, weaving in and out of the Heaton Moor lines; Ruck formed, ball recycled and in to the arms Keiron, Josh, David and the like. Phase upon phase, recycle after recycle, Eccles were on the move until inevitably and deservedly, Eccles go over to score a fantastically worked Try, all made possible by a confidence and aggression that was so sorely lacking in the first half. The Try itself, scored by Dan was a masterclass of Forward play, climaxing as Josh released the ball at just the right moment to allow Dan the opportunity to crash over for Eccles opening Try.

Massive pressure on Matthew for the kick as his kicking to this point had been in keeping with the rest of Eccles play. Matthew collected the ball, composed himself and slotted it between the posts with the easy of a seasoned professional.

It wasn’t long before Eccles hit the Replay button and scored an almost identical second try. This time it would be powerhouse Keiron who would take the ball in, crashing through the exhausted and deflated Heaton Moor defence; felled short of the line, Keiron had the awareness to stretch and reach over the line with the ball as he tumbled towards the floor.

Matthew again converted to bring Eccles within three points of a Heaton Moor side that was becoming tired and increasingly desperate in their play.

Relentless pressure from Eccles in the pursuit of a third and decisive Try saw Heaton Moor retreat deeper and deeper in to their own twenty Two until finally Shea collected the ball and charged at the Heaton Moor lines. The Moor defence holds strong and wraps Shea up like a Greggs Steak Slice, Shea sees an opportunity to release the ball but a nudge to arm at the moment of release sees the well intentioned pass drift forward, handing possession to the relieved visitors. A scrum, a punt and Heaton Moor take the opportunity to close the game out by kicking to touch.

As the final whistle is blown the tale of the game unfolds as while the faces of the Eccles players are a picture of disappointment at what could have been, those of Heaton Moor display relief and exhaustion in equal measure.

We’re off down the East Lancashire road next week as we take on league leaders Liverpool Collegiate who we felt unlucky to lose against in our last encounter in November 2016 This will be a challenging encounter that will test our rugby abilities to the max. This in mind it is again vitally important that the lads attend Wednesdays training session so we remedy the poor calls and decisions that hampered todays first half and build on the tremendous work of the second.

Eccles Junior Colts’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

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


  • Ed H
  • David S


  • Jack W (hand)
  • Alex H (knee)


  • Ellis P (Ale)

Scores on the Doors

Full Time 14 – 17

Eccles Try Scorers – Dan + Keiron

Eccles Conversions – Walker x 2

EMoM 🏉

Eccles Man of the Match was awarded by Heaton Moor to Sit-Down David who’s thunderous runs through the centre gained valuable yardage for the team leading to the 1st Eccles try. David’s tenacity, deceptive pace and explosive power would have all played a role in him being recognised as Eccles MVP today by our opposition. Very well done David!

Notable Mentions

Iodine Mark Skillicorn and his little squirter were once again was called into action as Joey Eccles took a knock to the napper. We all know how much it hurts when you bang your funny bone! Joe has sustained mild concussion and will be unavailable for the next three weeks. As can be seen here in his band audition with Josh, Joe’s singing voice has been affected by the blow to the nut

Notable by their absence were John and Chris who played up for the Junior Colts last week and made a magnificent impact. It’d be fantastic if they could join Joe B next week as we take on Liverpool Collegiate

A rare sighting of the Lesser Spotted Rugby Coach today as James Wright made a late appearance to catch the better part of the Junior Colts match before his Eccles Ladies team took to the field.

We were treated to an education in clear and precise linesmanship today as Chris The Whistle, bereft of his trusty flags, took to the line 🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻

Is there anything better than the coffee and bacon butty’s that the ladies of the Eccles RFC Bistro serve up? It’s only when we play away fixtures that it becomes clear how good the food at Eccles is. 


Liam – yes I’ll sell the match programmes

Liam – Cath, can you get the match programmes from the bar

Liam – Cath, I’ll hold the dog while you sell the match programmes

Cath – *wanders off, Scout the dog in tow, box of programmes in hand*

Todays Match Report was brought to you by the postponement of my Shaun W Ryder gig, some really awful international football and Birra Moretti

Fleetwood 2XV 32 – 20 Eccles 2XV 07/10/2017

Fleetwood 2XV vs Eccles 2XV , 7th October 2017,  FT 34-20.

The final scoreline at a wet and windy Fleetwood does not reflect the close and competitive nature of the game, nor do justice to the heroic effort displayed by Eccles who played the entire match with only 14/13 men, two of whom were colts Tim Cullen and Joe Gaffey, against opposition who had the benefit of a full bench of replacements.

Eccles kicked off into the wind; struggled initially with the scrum and were inconsistent in the line out; but when they retained possession made good use of the slippy ball and, despite their numerical disadvantage, dominated for long periods, growing in confidence as the game progressed.  Determined tries from forwards Poole and Nombela and a slick backs’ passing across the pitch, finished by a Cullen Brothers’ combination were highlights. The blustery conditions effected kicking accuracy for both sides. Ultimately, lack of numbers was once again the main contribution to another disappointing defeat for the Eccles 2s who in pressing forwards in pursuit of victory, found themselves stretched and unable to prevent two kick and chase tries down their flanks in the last few minutes. Eccles 2nd XV now sit at the bottom of Division 2 North with 6 losses and 0 wins. When squad numbers improve then no doubt so will the results.

18 mins TRY Fleetwood, unconverted 5-0

24 mins TRY Fleetwood, unconverted 10-0

27 mins TRY Eccles, converted 10-7

39 mins PENALTY Eccles 10-10

HT 10-10

42 mins YELLOW card Fleetwood

45 mins TRY Fleetwood, unconverted 15-10

50 mins YELLOW card Eccles

58 mins TRY Eccles, unconverted 15-15

61 mins TRY Fleetwood, converted 22-15

65 mins TRY Eccles, unconverted 22-20

70 mins PENALTY Eccles, missed

77 mins TRY Fleetwood, unconverted 27-20

80 mins TRY Fleetwood, unconverted 32-20

FT 32-20


1. Stuart Poole (Y)

2. Sean Baines

3. Stuart Cork

4. Joe Gaffey


6. Kyle Pickford

7. Greg Wilson

8. Matt Nombela

9. Tom Wilson

10. Nathan Newlove

11. Alun Davies (c)

12. Luke Cullen

13. Paddy Bradshaw

14. Matt Appleby

15. Tim Cullen

3 Tries: Stuart Poole,  Matt Nombela, Tim Cullen

1 Conversion, 1 Penalty: Nathan Newlove