U16s fall short against Stockport

A frozen pitch prevented todays game from starting on time and no amount of black looks towards the frozen ground from Chris’tle would make it thaw any sooner. So after around a twenty minute delay Eccles got the game underway with a kick deep into the Stockport half.

The first half was played at a furious pace by both sides with the rapidly thawing ground making the gaining of any traction very difficult. This didn’t detract from the quality of the lads handling though as the balls was passed smoothly from man to man.

Disappointingly though for Coach Kevin – and we all heard his disappointment – the lads were failing to follow some of the vital instructions that had been passed down to them by Coach’s Kevin & James. A lack of support runners alongside the man with the ball and lads setting off on their own agenda with the ball seemed to be the crux of the disappointment aimed mainly at the Forwards.

The game was ferociously physical with a number of Eccles players in the wars including Joe R, Josh G and Shea S – who can now sniff around corners.

The physical nature of the match boiled over on a couple of occasions with a young lady opening up her handbag on Dan Gogh when his back was turned. Dan then proceeded to jump on the back of the lad and ride him like Red Rum until Chris’tle and the Coaching teams calmed it all down.

Buoyed by Dan’s jockeying, Josh G demonstrated his prowess on the dance floor as he Tango’d with one of the Stockport lads; both lads receiving a cheese slice from Chris’tle for their efforts.

A very even first half with both sides giving 100% throughout; Stockport looked to be through and would have scored but for a tremendous last ditch tackle from the very impressive Tanny K.

Eccles made some great progress with crash runs from Dan A, Alex T & H, Shea S, Josh G and (off course) Ellis P. A break from inside the Eccles 22 looked like it was going to pay dividends until a high tackle brought the move to a halt and a tranche de fromage for the Stockport player.

The defining moment of the first half came with the only try going the way of our visitors just moments before the half time hooter.

The second half saw Coach’s Kevin and James ring the changes by bringing on a full bench of substitutes. The importance of game time cannot be underestimated and although trailing by five points, it’s vital that all the lads have the opportunity of getting time on the pitch as we near our next competitive match.

Unfortunately the lads conceded another four tries without reply in the second half against a strong Stockport team. The lads will be disheartened by this but should also look at the bigger picture and rememberer that not so long ago Clubs such as Stockport & Altrincham Kersal wouldn’t want to play Eccles because they wouldn’t be tested. No one comes to Eccles now with expectations of an easy game!

Due to Orrell being unable to field an U16 side we will now be welcoming Clitheroe to Gorton Street next week. I don’t believe we have played Clitheroe before but a glance at their website shows that they are a serious rugby club able to field teams at almost as many age groups as Eccles. They have played and beaten Sedgley Park, Colne & Nelson and Bury during the course of this season, running up over 40 points on a number of occasions. However a heavy defeat to Rochdale and more surprisingly a loss to Sedgley Park suggest that Eccles should be more than a match for our visitors.

Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. Josh G– Loose Head Prop
  2. Dan A – Hooker
  3. Ellis P – Tight-Head Prop
  4. Alex T – Second Row
  5. James W – Second Row
  6. Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
  7. Albert T– Open-Side Flanker
  8. Alex H – Number Eight
  9. Tanny K – Scrum-Half
  10. Matt W– Fly Half (Captain)
  11. Jack W – Left Wing
  12. Shea S– Outside Centre
  13. Harry C – Inside Centre
  14. Rob S – Right Wing
  15. Brad P – Full-Back
  • Bench Strength. Today the lads were benching about 550Kgs
  • Replacements – Ed H, Ross A, Matty L, David S, Kieron R, Max R, Oliver W, James F
  • AWOL – Liam W

Scores on the Doors

Eccles 0 – 24 Stockport

Eccles Men of the Match

Players Choice – Dan A

Passion, power and p’aggression are all hall marks of lippy Dan A. Another fine performance on the field and also on the back of the Stockport player sees Dan pick up the vote from his peers.

Coach Choice – Shea S

Note to self – never accept a lift from Shea S once he’s driving! This lad crashes through anything. Very unlucky not to score today, Shea has a great nose for the spaces that appear across the defensive lines

Parent Choice – ??

Like many of the Eccles players, I missed the second half. As such I didn’t collect votes from Parents for the PEMoM. Therefore I have taken up the mantle and based on my single vote Dan Gogh gets the award for his passion for the Eccles cause, demonstrable knowledge of the game and jockey skills.


Great to see Matt W back in Navy & White following his knock last week

With Ross A, Ed H and James F all back and available today Eccles had the massively enviable position of having 23 players to pick from. This gives Coach’s Kevin & James lots of options for every position. There is masses of evidence to say that this makes players perform better and Eccles are reaping the rewards of the hard work that the players, Coaches, parents and Club have put in over the last few years.

Is there anything on God’s earth that is slower than an Eccles quick penalty?

Always the but of my jokes – a massive thanks to Chris ‘The Whistle’ Lee for again being the man in the middle, ensuring the lads always have a game. As the recent email from the club pointed out, there is a huge shortage of referees and we are incredibly lucky that we have Chris – honest, we really are!

Shea S demonstrated his grasp of Anglo Saxon when Mark Skillicorn eased Shea’s broken schnoz back in to place

I asked Joe R how Shea was, he’s said “hook nose” – a bit harsh I thought until I saw the photo…….

Have a look at the Clitheroe RUFC website, it’s very informative and right up to date

Naughty Step

Todays linesman overheard saying “haha yeah, I didn’t see anything though” when told he should be helping the referee out with decisions around persistent foul play at the blindside of the scrum from the Stockport Prop. Have a look at yourself eh!

I have to hold my hands up and confess to being guilty today. With kick off at 11:00 it’s important that the lads make the effort to arrive in the required attire, on time with full kit requirements.

I turned up with Tanny and Joe a couple of minutes late and without Joe’s socks and I think Matt W turned up without his mouth-guard. It’s not hard though, is it? I suspect it’ll be an offence punishable by corporal punishment, waterboarding or something when the lads play as Colts.

Did anyone else spot that todays match ball was sponsored by Bolton 👀