appointment of Allan Coleman and Stuart Pugsley whose
unprecedented success at local RL team Leigh Miners was
the talk of the local sporting folk.
What was most pleasing about the re-building process
was that the interest from players and members new and
old meant that Allan and Stuart re-built without the need to
source players externally meaning that all the players were
Tyldesley through and through. The increased numbers saw
the resurrection of the 2nd XV who re-entered the NOWIRUL
leagues albeit at a lower level but with healthy numbers each
The emphasis at the start of the season was to re-invigorate
the club from top to bottom with the mini and junior section
needing support to ensure that the player drain suffered
during their early teenage years is lessened and to try to put
the club back into the heart of the community. There has been
increased optimism from the season’s outset and this has
grown throughout the year with training numbers at a level
rarely seen in previous years.
The second team had a tremendous year, winning their
league with an unbeaten record, scoring in excess of 1000
points in the process and most importantly there was a
seamless transition when players were selected for the 1st XV
as well as being a team with a significant number of players
under the age of 25.
The Mini and Junior section, despite not having an age
group older than the under 12s, had a great season, showing
substantial growth as the season progressed including the
resurrection of a girls team which was last seen at St Georges
Park more than five years ago.
With the enthusiasm brought to the club by Allan and
Stuart and the support from Team Manager Steven Lloyd,
Director of Rugby Eddie Wallbank and Assistant Coach Lee
Cunliffe the season went from strength to strength. The most
important part of the season turned out to be the first two
weeks of 2017 when they met the two teams above them
Hoylake and Liverpool Collegiate and by winning both put
them on course for the league title which was wrapped up in
the sunshine on the Isle of Man.
The next target was to secure a place in the final of the
Lancashire Plate and a stunning 33-15 win against higher
league opposition from Littleborough saw that target reached
and in the final at Leigh RUFC they comprehensively put
Burnley to the sword with a 50-24 win securing the first cup
win since the 1895 Lancashire Cup victory.
Promotion to a very strong level 7 means that the work
to strengthen the playing numbers at the club will keep
the minds of the coaches focussed and the aim of raising
sufficient players to resurrect a third team, albeit on a social
basis, would be a great turnaround from where the club
found itself twelve months earlier.
Head coach Allan Coleman is striving for a top half finish
next season but recognising the standard and intensity of
rugby needs to improve week on week.
The biggest challenge facing the club is to build on the
success of this year, keeping the club on a sound financial
footing and attracting players, members and sponsors to
become part of the club but most importantly to have a
production line of players through the youth section and
although this may take few years to come to fruition there
is suddenly an enthusiasm to drive the club forward to see it
into its 137th year of existence.
Article provided by Membership Secretary Ian Lysons
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