Sat 27 Nov 2021 13:59



Liverpool St Helens 18-5 Eccles 

On Saturday, Eccles travelled to Moss Lane, the home of Liverpool St Helens Football Club who can can trace its origins to 1857, making it the oldest open rugby club in the World. LSH provided four of the England team that played Scotland in the first ever international in 1871 and in 1914 the club was able to claim three international captains in its 1st XV. 
 The framed shirts and distinguished history of the hosts provided a fascinating back drop to the gracious pre-match hospitality provided to the visiting Eccles representatives. Eccles Rugby Football Club's own history stretches back to before 1897 and so it is remarkable that there is no record, in the past 124 years, of a previous meeting between the two clubs. So after the sandwiches, stories and handshakes the Eccles contingent made their way out to the touchline to witness what would be the first ever Liverpool St Helens v Eccles senior fixture.
Eccles kicked off in fine autumn weather and were the brighter of the two teams in the early exchanges. After just 6 minutes of play, Eccles opened the scoring, with a quickly taken free kick and a lovely chip from our young fly half, Alex Speakman, out to the right wing, which was caught and raced into the corner by Gavin Ackers-Johnson for a try; conversion missed. 0-5 Eccles.
Liverpool St Helens looked to respond immediately and succeeded in winning possession from the restart, and began to build an opening through phases. With 11 minutes played, from a ruck in a central position inside the Eccles 22, a missed defensive tackle resulted in an overload on the left wing and the hosts ran the ball in unopposed for a try in the corner (Cunliffe); conversation missed. All square. 5-5.
Eccles responded well and continued to play with belief for the next 15 minutes and were soon running the ball and creating more opportunities with their attacking kicking. A line-out 5m from the LSH goal line in front of the scoreboard was squandered but Eccles succeeded in keeping the pressure on the hosts inside their own territory. Another well measured kick from Eccles into the LSH 22 presented a great opportunity to pick up the loose bouncing ball about 10m out, but the backs were unable to keep their footing and with good defence cover and a knock on this attack fizzled out. Soon after a great break through the middle from Speakman provides a 2 v 1 opportunity on the left wing but this came to nothing with handling just failing the young Eccles team when they needed it most. LSH were certainly the heavyweights in the forwards contest and were dominant in the early scrums but Eccles were making progress with good back line movement and kicks to the wings. At 25 minutes Nick Spooner left the field temporarily for treatment after a charge down inside the LSH 22 and as the half hour mark approached, Eccles had to soak up some pressure from the hosts as they were made to work hard on their goal line to prevent a score to the left of the sticks. A penalty for hands in the ruck gave Eccles an opportunity to break quickly and a Yellow card was awarded to LSH when no hands tackle stopped progress to the halfway line. Spooner returned to the field and Eccles enjoyed a good period of sustained possession inside the LSH 22 with good inter-passing and movement between the backs. Play was stopped for an LSH injury and not long after an Eccles counter attack was halted by the whistle for the break. The first half contest had been evenly balanced with Eccles enjoying the better attacking opportunities.
LSH kicked off the second half and made the most of the strong wind, now in their favour. At 47 minutes LSH won a turnover penalty in the middle of posts inside the Eccles 22 and kicked it to go ahead (Johnston) 8-5. Eccles were still struggling to get into gear when just 5 minutes later LSH were awarded another penalty, almost in the same position and slotted it home to edge in front 11-5 (Johnson). 
The rain came in and in the squally conditions Eccles gritted their teeth, and responded with some sustained attacking pressure. The tension built. A sequence of three Eccles scrums followed inside the LSH 22, but nothing was gained. A perfectly executed Eccles 50:22 saw the ball kicked from the visitor's half and bounce into touch in an attacking position inside the 22 only for the hosts to recieve the resulting line-out. Decisions, discussions, frustrations.
With the score still held at 11-5, the best Eccles opportunity of the half came to homegrown centre Harry Candland who broke through on the right 15 channel and expertly kicked through to the corner sending the LSH defence scrambling as Candland, Ackers-Johnson and Parkinson all zeroed in on the fullback but somehow the three attackers were denied the try scoring opportunity with a penalty awarded (possibly a high tackle, it wasn't clear) 5 metres out.
It was all still to play for until 70 minutes when the Eccles 8 Lee Brennann was sent to the bin and LSH took full advantage of their extra man, when their winger (Romano) secured the win with a try nine minutes from time, dotting down to the side of posts; converted (Johnson) when the ball hit the post and bounced in. 18-5. A high tackle was awarded against a LSH forward but no action was taken and the final minutes of the closely contested game were otherwise uneventful. We look forward to hosting LSH in the return fixture next March.
06’ 0-5 ECCLES TRY
08’ 5-5 LSH TRY
HT 5-5
47’ 8-5 LSH Penalty
54’ 11-5 LSH penalty
71’ 18-5 LSH TRY
FT 18-5
Report CG



Rossendale 21-15 Eccles 


Awaiting match report 


Eccles 49-19 Sefton 

Eccles u16s welcomed Sefton to Gorton Street hoping for a repeat of the recent Lancashire Cup win and it was the visitors who kicked off to start the game in near perfect rugby playing conditions although Eccles lost the ball from a knock on giving Sefton some early possession from the scrum. When Eccles were penalised for being offside from the subsequent ruck it gave Sefton a line out on the Eccles 10 metre mark but the defence stood firm and turned the ball over allowing Jack C to make a break down the left side and finding Matt H but another loose carry meant the attack petered out.

Sefton stuck to their game plan from the previous game which was to kick at every opportunity and this gave them some good early possession forcing the home side to touch the ball down behind their own try line but some quick thinking from Jack L with a short kick meant Eccles regained the ball and went on the attack and made some good yards , Cael supported well and set the ball back from Leighton who found the always available Jack C who made another great break and seeing his centre outside in support, fed the perfect pass allowing Matt G to romp in , Jack made a tricky kick look easy to take the score to 7-0.

The restart found Lucas who as always beat the first man giving the forwards time to get in support and protect the ball giving Jack C and Jack L time to pile down the middle forcing Sefton into a knock on to prevent a further score. Joe D got the ball from the scrum and tried to cheeky kick through which was only just knocked dead by a scrambling Sefton defence at the last minute.

Eccles looked in the mood now and more strong running from James and Blake was putting more pressure on the visitors defence and it was breached again when the ball moved out to Matt G who sold an outrageous dummy to glide in for his second try of the morning and Jack L increased the lead to 14-0.

Sefton didn’t help themselves by kicking the restart straight out on the full and Eccles had the scrum on the half way line and some great handling by Leighton , Matt G and Jack L allowed Lucas to grab a well deserved try when he blasted through the cover defence to give Eccles back to back tries and Jack obliged with the conversion to make it 21-0.

Sefton got the ball from kick off when Eccles dropped the ball although they didn’t keep it for long as Joe D put a tremendous shot on the Sefton forward (who Joe claims was at least 6’4 and had a full beard although this is yet to be verified), Matt G was the grateful recipient as he picked up the loose ball and galloped in to complete his hat trick before the whistle was blown for half time with the score at 28-0.

Eccles started the second half with a cute kick from the recently introduced Sam D which went short to Jack L who has denied a try by being held up over the line forcing Sefton to drop out, Scott took the ball well on the wing but it was then lost in the next phase and a penalty to Sefton for a high tackle allowed them to move into the Eccles half.

Eccles were defending solidly although some over eagerness meant penalties followed for offside and high tackles forced the ref to speak to the Eccles captain Matt H to get his players back in line. Matt G found himself on the wrong end of the referee's whistle for another high tackle which earnt him a yellow card and a breather on the sidelines. Sefton took the opportunity to get themselves on the scoreboard when their number 10 intercepted a pass and scored under the sticks to make it 28-7.

Sam D went for another short kick but it fell short of the 10 metre mark giving Sefton the scrum which they won but more string defence from Josh and Harry P turned the ball over and Joe went for another kick and chase which he won and set back for Chayse to sidestep his way over from 20 metres out to score a great try and give Jack an easy kick to move it to 35-7.

Sefton kicked off and Harry P made more good yards allowing the backs to kick through again but another high tackle by Eccles gifted Sefton more easy yards although Sam D prevented the kick from going over the touchline and prompted a counter attack. Slick handling moved the ball to Jack L and Matt H who found Jack C splitting the cover defence and the openside flanker touched down for a well deserved try , Jack L added the extras again to make is 42-7.

Eccles were really dominating and James was making yards with every carry only for Eccles to be penalised for offside when chasing another probing kick and again Eccles showed indiscipline when another high tackle was given. Eccles won the ball from the tap taken by Sefton but some hesitant play in the middle gave the Sefton 10 another intercept in an almost carbon copy of their first score to make the game 42-14.

Eccles and Sam kicked off but Sefton were running on fumes now with injuries meaning Finn, Blake and Cael joined the opposition's side with Cael enjoying a stint at centre so it was no surprise that Sefton kicked the ball straight back but when the ball found its wat to Matt H in open space he flew through the Sefton defence and although he could have scored himself he slowed down to draw the fullback and passed the ball to perfection to Jack L who went in under the posts giving himself the easy take to add the 2 points and make the score 49-14.

It was the visitors who ended the scoring with more indiscipline costing Eccles when Chayse was given a yellow card for being offside and the referee sending him to the touchline for the teams accumulation of penalties. Sefton took a quick tap and scored outside to bring the final score to 48- 19 to Eccles.

Report Andy Curran.

7-0 TRY ECCLES Matt G,  Jack L conversion
14-0 TRY ECCLES Matt G, Jack L conversion
21-0 TRY ECCLES Lucas, Jack L conversion
28-0 TRY ECCLES Matt G, Jack L conversion
HT 28-0
28-7 TRY SEFTON, conversion
35-7 TRY ECCLES Chayse, Jack L conversion
42-7 TRY ECCLES Jack C, Jack L conversion
42-14 TRY SEFTON, conversion.
49-14 TRY ECCLES Jack L, Jack L conversion

FT 49-19

U16s MOTM: Jack C 


Eccles v Sefton 


Awaiting match report 

U13s Girls

Winnington Park v Eccles 


Awaiting match report 


Eccles v Sefton 


Awaiting match report 


Manchester v Broughton Park v Eccles 


With a few boys missing this week the U12s faced two tough games away at Manchester, facing Broughton Park first then Manchester for the second game in the County Waterfall Cup. It was a challenge for them.

It was good to see Monty back in action, although he had to come off through injury.  He was hungry for rugby and made it clear with big hits throughout the first game. We're hoping he's back at full strength soon.

Owen was a man on a mission this week with his ferocious tackles. He held the defence up the best he could. He showed he's maturing as a player this weekend, the games were tough but he kept a clear head, got stuck in and helped keep the opposition at bay. Owen earned himself Coaches Player for his performance.

The boys found it difficult to get some runs in today but Bryn and Jamie F manged to, 2 tries from Bryn and 1 from Jamie. Impressive tries by both helped keep the lads spirits up but wasn't enough to give us a win on the day.

We will keep going again next week and hopefully get back on our winning form. Games like these give us the incentive to learn and grow as a team, and coaches.

Coaches player: Owen
Players' player: Bryn

Report Paul, Coach


Rochdale v Eccles v Ashton  


Our awesome U11s team travelled to Rochdale for a tri-fixture taking on three tough and determined teams. All three games were physically and mentally challenging, and as always, our boys were resilient and confident, tackling and battling against the opposing giants.

The team spirit from the off was amazing. Our lads worked together to pass the ball, make spaces, win rucks and tirelessly defend, freeing up players to score many tries.

As the tally stands, we remain unbeaten this season with the latest results of 9-4 against Rochdale (who fielded two teams) and 4-3 against Ashton. Scores to be extremely proud of.

A few of the boys got some knocks, bruises and scratches, but were unfazed by this and the whole team kept pressing. Pietro and Pete made great decisions when rotating the players, allowing the lads to get a quick breather before going back into battle! Their encouraging words and praise didn’t go unnoticed by both players and parents.

The Rochdale team made us all feel really welcome and we have certainly come away knowing the areas we need to improve on and a BIG question (from the parents) "What are these other teams feeding their kids?"

Man of the match went to Vincenzo for his fantastic technique and decision making in the ruck! We look forward to next weekend when we face Trafford with their army of 25 players.

Report and Photos by Shelley and a bit of Anthony (G’s mum and dad).


Rochdale v Eccles 

The U10s made their way on the road to Rochdale after a string of home games at Gorton Street, looking to build on the numerous victories this season.
We arrived to the smell of fields and mud as brand new kits simply became kits in a matter of passes and tackles! We had a squad of 13 today, which really shows our depth in squad, and Coaches Dan and John are already stressing out making sure everyone gets enough minutes! Rochdale had 16 today so you can only imagine what it’s like for them!
As agreed with both sets of coaches, the game was 11 vs 11 so everyone could play on the same pitch, which over the past few weeks, Eccles haven’t had the chance to do so some people played with each other for the first time. The game was kicked off by Rochdale and it became apparent how the game would go. 
Big. Physical. Tackles. Eccles wouldn’t want it any other way! 
There were some big carries from Jaiden and Kai to put a bit of ‘bosh’ into the game, with silky runs from Riley and Thomas managing to unlock the defence for tries and twist and turns from Jaxon and Dan Red made defenders feel like they were on a merry go round (which believe me, it’s not fun to be on)! On the other side of the ball in defence, the ever present marshalling of the defence by our girls Freya and Aila, combined with the tenacity of Sebastian and George and the pressure of Marley and Alexis, made our team tough to crack.
We persisted through Rochdale’s barrage of runners and outran and outmuscled their tackling assault in defence to come to an 11 - 9 victory, extending our impressive unbeaten run this season. The player of the match was Harley, because simply, he did everything today and played an unreal game. His ball carrying and tackling are second to none and to say he had never played rugby before the start of the season, he has come on exceptionally well and he is most certainly not afraid to muddy the shirt for the badge (even though the shirt and shorts are white - RIP Harley’s washing machine!)
We look to next week, which sees us travel to Trafford MV for an early morning start, which Coaches Dan and John and Manager Leeann are thrilled for! 
Trafford MV will be a good side and the game should be a good contest between two sides who haven’t played each other for a long time. The U10s are ready TMV, the question is: are you?
Report Leeann, Team Manager


Rochdale v Eccles 


Awaiting match report 


Rochdale v Eccles 


Eccles U8’s travelled enmasse to Rochdale RUFC for a great morning of rugby. The squad of 18 players were divided into 3 teams to play a mixed Rochdale and Ashton squad totalling 15.  Great teamwork and lively attacking play with lots of passing and try scoring helped keep our little band of warriors warm at what was a chilly morning in the hills of Rochdale.

Congrats to Finn our Eccles player of the week. 🏆 Big thanks to Rochdale for hosting us and making us feel really welcome.  We look forward to seeing them when they visit Eccles in the near future. A word of thanks also to fellow travelling club Ashton for making for joining and helping make it a great morning of rugby for the kids. As ever, the coaches want to commend all our kids and parents who attend each week and help made Eccles a community club both Home and Away.

Report Carmel, Team Manager.

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