First night success for Colts Friday Floodlights

ECCLES U17s 33 – 14 Wythenshawe U17s 

Last night, the glowing Gorton Street Arena hosted a great colts game, played in superb spirit. A terrific total turn out of 30 players for the 7pm kick off – with the welcome return of 6 Eccles’ lads who have played no or little rugby this season and 5 lads playing their first ever game.  All credit to the players themselves who spread the word and made it happen.

With such good numbers, Eccles were able to loan three players to Wythenshaw in both halves to make it an evenly-matched game. Uncontested scrums were observed throughout. The friendly was an enjoyable, competitive contest, with the visitors ahead 5-14 for a long period of the first half, with many try attempts ‘held up’ on the goal line at both ends. Wythenshawe enjoyed plenty of possession and had effective pace throughout the team; Eccles improved their organisation and pulled ahead as the second half progressed.  Eccles Try scorers on the night were Dillon Carter 2, Leon Simpson, John Nicholson and someone else in the corner (it was dark)!

Thanks to Mr S Baines for Refereeing.  It was agreed by all spectators and coaches in the bar afterwards that the event was a success.  We hope this be the first of many such local socials. All U17 players, lapsed and new are welcome at the Friday Floodlight Friendlies. Just bring your boots. Warm up. Play.

More pictures on


Tonight at Eccles RFC, Eccles U17 v Wythenshawe U17

All U17s Colts and new players welcome. Meet 6:30pm, KO 7pm. Come down with your boots. Come down with your mates. Or if you’re over 18, come down to support the lads and enjoy a beer!

Friday Night Floodlight Friendlies are what we hope can be a Spring series of colts games between local clubs. In the first one this evening, Eccles welcome Wythenshawe to the glowing Gorton Street arena.


Match report: Eccles VS Bolton & Ashton on Mersey

Match one:         Eccles Vs Bolton
Score:                Eccles 4 Bolton 4
Scorers:             Josh, Lewis, Jack, Tommy

Match two:         Eccles Vs Ashton on Mersey
Score:                Eccles 9 Ashton on Mersey 2
Scorers:             Lewis (2), Jack (3), Ben (2), Josh, Mateusz

Well, it was another wet and windy day in Eccles as we hosted our visitors for the day – Ashton on Mersey and Bolton. Having successfully picked themselves up last week from a couple of disappointing results, I think that everyone was hoping that the boys would continue their Southport form.

Match one – Eccles Vs Bolton

Bolton was the first fixture of the day, and as our local rivals, I think we were keen for a good start. The Bolton team were clearly going to represent some challenges with their size and power, and roared on by their rather enthusiastic coach, it was going to be a tough game. As we’ve become accustomed, the boys started strongly and their defence set the tone, not giving the Bolton team much chance to gain any possession up-field. The muddy and slippery conditions meant that it was heavy going and certainly wasn’t going to be a fast and agile game – something which our resident freight trains made the most of.

As expected, the game was a close one and the Eccles boys matched Bolton try for try. First try for Eccles came from a lovely bit of build-up play which saw an array of passing up and down the line, culminating in a devastating run from Mitch who took advantage of the overlap and offloaded to Josh for him to carry over the line and score. Lewis was next up with some strong running to score our second. Jack – who’d made a number of determined runs at Bolton – took his opportunity as well and ploughed over the line for our third. Our fourth try was something quite special, which saw a fantastic solo effort from Tommy to run the entire pitch and around most of the Bolton team to score. Definitely a contender for try of the season so far.

Final score 4 – 4

Match two – Eccles Vs Ashton on Mersey

Unfortunately too many tries in this game to remember and recite detail, but it’s safe to say that Ashton on Mersey were on the receiving end of some really exciting and high-tempo play from Eccles. The rucking was still a bit patchy and we were still showing some hesitancy to pick the ball up. Thankfully Mateusz wasn’t so hesitant when he had the chance! Although a much smaller team (on average) than Bolton, Ashton had some really agile players, but the relentless pressure from Eccles meant that they literally didn’t have a second with the ball before an Eccles player was bearing down on them.

Despite the game being a bit of a rout (deservedly so), Ashton’s best player (Emma?) was a constant threat and got her just reward with two tries against us. God help her boyfriends in years to come! Don’t think they’ll be getting on the wrong side of her!

Final score Eccles 9 – AOM 2

I’ll finish with some notes I took on the day for individual performances across the two matches:

Jack – Absolute powerhouse! He was in the zone and enjoying the freight train runs, accompanied by gritted teeth and a death stare! Deserving scorer of four tries!
Tommy – A tackling machine as usual and gave the opposition a torrid time, applying constant pressure and forcing errors. Scored the best try of the first match – great solo effort!
Mitchell – Great run and offload in the first match for Josh to score. Really taken his tackling up a few levels recently!
Ben – Unlucky not to pull off one of his trademark ‘sneaky interceptions’ in the Bolton game. Was a constant, slippery, rolling nuisance for the opposition in both games. Two great tries scored against Ashton on Mersey.
Lewis – Enjoyed some effective ‘freight train’ style running at the opposition in both games, resulting in three tries.
Jude – Made some great weaving runs at the opposition. Really starting to get the hang of this rugby lark now! Great offload to Lewis for a try.
Harry – Unleashed a few of his trademark ‘arking’ runs – attacking the wings. Some good offloading too.
Charlie – Workman-like performance in both games and was prepared to take down the opposition regardless of size. Awesome try-saving tackle against Ashton on Mersey.
Mateusz – Some really powerful running – always with a smile on his face! One of the few players prepared to pick the ball up quickly at the ruck. Great try against Ashton on Mersey
Lucas – Really good offloading with a few cheeky dummy sidesteps. Too clean and not muddy enough! (According to his Dad)
Josh- Lined up a few of his classic eye-watering tackles. Good support play throughout and a couple of great tries. Really good to see him on the score sheet.

Eccles u11s -v- Bolton/Ashton on Mersey u11s


And again…. we ventured beyond the ‘Patricroft Ridge’ into the bleak wilderness beyond the railway tunnel! Why is the weather ALWAYS dire around there?!!

Ok, no more excuses:

Eccles u11s took on a ‘double header’ as they entertained AOM and Bolton.

Up first were AOM: Lucas elected to KO into the wind to test out the AOM defence from the opening whistle. With more or less a full squad to select from (just Heath and both Finns unavailable), the balance on paper looked to favour the Gorton St boys. Ollie sent the ball high as Fletcher, Joe and Jake and put the chase on to apply some early pressure.

With Max, Evan and Shayne forming the pack just in front of Matthew and Lucas, the game plan was always going to be a little tricky in the squall!

However, a bit of traditional Eccles Sunday weather wouldn’t provide much in the way of a problem as the boys linked early putting some great passing moves together.

Ollie had to spin on his heals as the wind took the ball beyond where he expected it to land….. the ball was snapped up as Ollie hit the contact for Matthew to ruck over.

Jake continues his recent good form with some real good body angles to secure the ball, as Evan and Shayne combined to present a tight pairing into the contact area.

Joe then spun it out to the left for Capt Lucas to take it on the run. As the AOM defender narrowed the space for Lucas, he slipped the ball neatly to Fletcher who launched up the wing.

Only a smart tackle taking Fletcher into touch saved the first try.

From the restart, Max put a tremendous tackle in causing the AOM centre to lose possession. Joe again was then continued the counter attack for Max to come in on a second wave to nail the first score. Max then made way for Jack after taking a knock to the leg.

So, with the initial momentum going to Eccles, the appetite for more scores drove the boys on to an expansive game. Ollie then grabbed a try  but only after Jack secured a well deserved score of his own.

AOM then pulled one back after a great chase from their winger to leave the first game 3-1 Eccles.

The weather dictated that we conduct the games in 10 minute sessions, so up next was Bolton.

Eccles introduced a complete change on the pitch as on came Cameron, Alfie, Scott, Carter, Johnnie, and Adam.

Matthew slotted in as scrum half as Joe took a breather, and Carter dropped in as full back.

The ball was fed out to Scott for his first touch. With a familiar shimmy of his hips, he made a neat hole to drift through. Adam linked well to continue the move but the Bolton defence were solid on this occasion.

From deep in their own half, they played their way up through the middle, largely due to some charitable tackling but none the less, they deserved the try.

From the restart, Matthew took a fine catch to hit straight back at the Bolton boys.

A clever dummy saw him head up the centre to claim an instant response 1-1

Cameron was then unlucky not to claim his first Eccles try after some good footwork and a great running line from Alfie.

As the clock ran on, Johnnie sensed the opportunity to seal the game from his favoured left wing. With the try line still some way off, Carter made the clean ruck ball for Joe to slip it to Johnnie. W fine line of running saw him claim the second win on the day for Eccles.

Two more games against the same opposition saw a clean sweep for the Eccles lads. All played in great spirits despite some torrid weather.

They really are gelling as a complete squad, and their enthusiasm is proving infectious in their development. As we head into the last few games of the current season, a Welsh tour and a Tournament at Preston Grass Hoppers will round-off a great season for the boys.


Lucas (Capt), Alfie, Ollie, Shayne, Evan, Matthew, Scott, Jake, Matthew, Adam, Cameron, Johnnie, Jack, Maxwell, Fletcher, Carter, Joe, (and Liam!)     

Thanks to Chris on the whistle for his patience and Vicky for the match stats…. as always, it doesn’t happen without the help of all concerned.




Eccles U15s Rugby Tour – March 2017

Friday 17th March saw the players of the Eccles Under 15s given an early pass out of school and on a coach – with their parents, obviously and headed up the M62 (initially) to the North East where we were due to play at Darlington Mowden on Saturday and at Redcar on Sunday.  After checking in to the Premier Inn at Stockton on Tees and five-star dining at the adjoining Beefeater (only the best for us Under 15s), the team had an exceptionally early night!!!! and woke up refreshed for their short trip to the 22,000 seater Northern Echo Arena.

The first game was against the home team Mowden and was a very closely fought game with the final score being 8:7 to Eccles.  Joe scored a try and a penalty kick.  Apologies for brevity of the report but the parents were so taken by the acoustics of the stadium that there was little time for in-depth reporting.  Mowden has been hit by several injuries recently so special mention to Cameron S who played some of the match for the home team.

Our second game on Saturday was against North Shields team Percy Park.  As usual Eccles worked as a team and fought hard but unfortunately it was not to be and the final score was 19:0 to the opposition.  In true Eccles style, the boys held on to their enthusiasm from their earlier win and went on to present the other teams which the much-coveted Eccles Cakes and then were off to blow off some steam Rambo fashion at the paint ball centre.

After Billy “Bruce Forsyth” Borrett’s much anticipated Play your Cards RightÒ competition (Well done to winners Debbie and Steve) and another particularly early night, the coach took us to Redcar.  Again, we were scheduled to play 2 games.  First game was against Houghton and was a “battler” from start to finish with both sides giving it their all.  The scoring was opened by Houghton with the first try of the match.  Next up was Curtis for Eccles, followed by Tumy and then another try for Houghton which was successfully converted which left Eccles trailing 10:12.  However as the final minutes of the match were playing out Dan S was able to kick the ball up the field with John chasing it down to put it over the try line and win us the game.  In my mind this was the best game of the season but then again what do I know!

Second up was our fixture against Redcar.  This time the scoring was opened by Eccles player Cameron W scoring a try which was successfully converted by Joe, not an easy task considering the wind (not the flatulence type – the least said about that the better).  Next came another Eccles try with Will scoring and Joe converting.  Cameron W went on to score his second try of the game and this was then followed by a try from Chris, a conversion from Joe, a try from John and then a much deserved try for Redcar with a subsequent conversion.  Special mentions go to Tumy who had a run out for Redcar in the second half of this match and to Dan D who played for Redcar in their match against Houghton.

Throughout the tour everyone played to their very best ability and it was a pleasure to come and watch these closely fought matches.  Well done to everyone, you were a credit to yourselves and the club

Tour Squad

Alex, Archie, Callan, Callum, Cameron S, Cameron W, Chris, Ciaran, Curtin, Dan D, Dan S, Joe, John, Josh, Ryley, Tom, Tumy and Will


Thanks to Sam who acted as team mascot, protector of the kicking tee and lines man as needed.

Thanks to Archie Bates for his ongoing support (am sure your knighthood will come when someone works out how to actually do the nomination)

Thanks to Monica Borrett for organising the tour. As D:ream said “Things can only get better”.  This was the best tour so far, so next year will be amazing!!!

Thanks to all the parents of course without you this tour wouldn’t have been possible

(any-one needing help with their award acceptance speeches – let me know !!!!)

Committed Colts defeated, but defiantly finish on their feet.



On Wednesday evening, under Rochdale’s floodlights, the Eccles U18 Colts’ season came to a conclusion with another loss. Having started the new year positively, with a 21-player turn out for a tremendous Home win against Birkenhead, diminishing numbers and four consecutive away defeats since have seen the Colts slide to the bottom of League C (a fate that would’ve been avoided if Sefton had not been removed from the competition for failure to fulfil fixtures). Five weekends without games since January have not helped the Colts momentum, and the experience away at Macclesfield three weeks ago featuring two red cards was a low point for all involved.

Following a reversal of venue due to the Gorton Street pitches being unplayable, Rochdale enjoyed home advantage with a large number of enthusiastic supporters and a full bench of players to draw upon. Eccles kicked off with just 11 players, 10 of whom were forwards and spent long periods of the first half in their own half and without the ball.

Having a wide pitch and speed on their side Rochdale were 4 tries up within 30 minutes succeeding down the flanks where they had numerical advantage.  Eccles suffered disheartening counter attacks and tries scored straight from restarts; many players had to embrace unfamiliar positions, but despite these set backs the conduct, attitude, belief and work rate of the whole team, was superb. The tenacity and determination of Mike Shaw and Joe Gaffey in particular was commendable. To their credit, the Colts battled until the end, and were rewarded with two terrific tries in the second half on the right flank scored by Matt Small and John Nicholson; converted by Mike.

The final scoreline did not reflect the commitment, character or effort of those on the field wearing the blue hooped shirt. A result to forget, but a memorable performance to complete a difficult season, played in the right spirit, with outstanding defiance and dogged obstinacy; one I was proud to witness and appreciated by all who were there.


2016 / 2017 SEASON ROUND UP 

To survive the season with all your fixtures fulfilled may not sound like much of an achievement, but Eccles have succeeded where Preston Grasshoppers, Manchester, Warrington, Waterloo, Liverpool Collegiate, Sefton and many other clubs have failed. As those around them have given up, lost interest, faded away, the Eccles Senior Colts have endured.

In total the Colts played 19 games: L L L L L L W L W L L L W L W L L L L  scoring 300 points in all competitions, with 591 points against.  Discipline has been poor with 14 Yellow and 2 Red cards amassed.  Victories were few but noteworthy – Rochdale 27-31, Sefton 20-18, Macclesfield 34-45, Birkenhead 28-19.  The margins of loss were often narrow in the early season 22-30, 29-22, 12-13, 10-13 but increased as the season went on and numbers reduced.

The Colts began with a combined U17s and U18s squad of 30, but by Christmas were struggling to field 15 players. Injuries, concussions and college fixtures for some certainly played a part in this, but the greatest influence on availability was Sunday employment.  This inconsistency has meant that all 19 fixtures have featured a different starting team.

Appearances – Fin Cox 19, Joe Gaffey 18, Cameron Higgingbottom (C) 17, Damola Ayanlaja-Lowo 17, Chris Thomas 17, Harry Meila 16, Kyle Dowarka 16, Zak Brooker 15, Kayne McNally 15, Mike Shaw 13, Josh Waring 13, Matt Hope 13, Matt Small 12, Josh Kilby 12, Edward Mather 12, Antony McNally 11, John Nicholson 9, Dillon Carter 8, Louis Ayre 8, Rory McGrath 7, Tim Cullen 7, Leon Simpson 7, Reece Walker 6, Adam Christey 5, Callum Baines 3, Connor James 2, Ben Moseley 2, Zak Dalkin-Whelan 2, Prince Moyo 2, Josh Houghton 2.

Try scorers – Leon Simpson 11, Mike Shaw 9,  Damola Ayanlaja-Lowo 5, Zak Brooker 5, Reece Walker 4, Kyle Dowarka 3, Ben Moseley 3, Louis Ayre 3, Cameron Higgingbottom (C) 2, Matt Hope 2, Chris Thomas 2, Joe Gaffey 1, Matt Small 1, John Nicholson 1, Tim Cullen 1, Callum Baines 1.

Top tacklers (Colts League Nov-Mar)  – Joe Gaffey 109, Matt Small 64, Fin Cox 58, Cameron Higgingbottom 50, Harry Melia 45, Chris Thomas 43, John Nicholson 42, Josh Waring 40, Zak Brooker 38, Kyle Dowarka 36, Mike Shaw 36.

Five Eccles Colts were selected to represent Lancashire County – Callum Baines, Leon Simpson, Reece Walker, Connor James, Ben Moseley.



Training continues with the Senior players on Wednesday evenings 19:00- 20:30.

The coaches encourage the U18s to make themselves available for selection in the Eccles Senior teams.  For U17 players, we plan to organise a few local friendlies over the next month; Colts League registration for next season will take place in May and the intention is to merge with the U16s form a new U18s Senior Colts team.

The coaches also encourage the squad to attend the Eccles RFC Senior Player’s awards, on Friday 5th May. Callum Baines and his beautiful assistant Cameron Higgingbottom are organising this team gathering and collecting monies. We wish them the best of luck.


Eccles 3rd 5 v Hope Valley 1sts 51 11//03/2017

The 3rds had to scrabble around to sort a team out of 11 players left after losing members to the 2nds .The early stages were fairly even but by 20 mins  Hope had scored two tries to lead 17-0 The 3rds gained a player (Danny Rice !!) even up the numbers but the 12 the visitors had arrived with had a regular formation .Two further tries followed by an interception one right on half time saw Hope lead 34-0 at the interval .A cruel bounce of the ball set up another Hope try on the restart before Kyle Doyle ( hot foot from the finished 2nds  match ) snurched in to bag a try 5-41 . Hope declined the offer of players to make 15 aside and match continued with the reduced numbers and Hope finished off with two more tries. 5-51 Well done to the players for turning out and competing against a side top of the league and being a tad unlucky to ship so many points.