CONGRATULATIONS to the U18 Senior Colts on becoming NW Senior D Divisional Champions, a testament to their commitment and hard work as a team throughout the winter.
It’s not uncommon for colts teams to fold during an arduous August-April season due to falling numbers. To ensure the club could fulfil all its fixtures and provide a good player experience, Eccles combined its U17s and U18s this season to form a Senior Colts squad, a decision that has proved successful although not without its challenges.
The Senior Colts endured a stumbling start to their campaign with injuries and an inconsistent line up contributing to 5 defeats in their opening 7 fixtures. However two big victories against Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers gave an indication of their potential. Boosted by recruits and galvanised by the weekly effort put in on the training ground with Sam and the Senior players, the Colts found their stride by November and began to enjoy the results their rugby deserved.
In the interests of competitive rugby and getting lads playing on a pitch, not shivering on a touchline, the Eccles Colts loaned players to their short-numbered opponents on more than one occasion. A sporting decision almost regretted when challengers Northwich, with the addition of 3 Eccles players, took the win in close contest before Christmas.
The Senior Colts responded to this set back and went on to provide a run of exceptional team performances, recording impressive results in their Conference League, playing attacking rugby, winning 10 out of 12 fixtures, and scoring 437 points (points diff +276)!
With a strong finish to the season, concluding with an 17-18 away victory in their final game against 2nd place rivals Clitheroe, the Eccles Colts earned themselves a fully deserved league title.
2018/19 Snr Colts League Form: LLWLLWL WLWWWWLWWWWW
Their club and coaches are very proud of their achievement. In particular their resilience, as a new team, to continually fight back from defeats with such determination. When others gave up, the colts continued to turn up and step up, every week.
Retention of our home-grown junior players into the Senior teams is vital for the continued success of the club, so it’s pleasing to note that another positive of the season has been the Colts transition to playing Saturday Senior rugby, with 9 colts already making their senior debut.
With the League now complete, next up for the Colts will be the League Cup competition which commences in March. There is also the Lancashire U18 Trophy Semi-Final to look forward to (venue and date TBC, probably April).