Competitive lacrosse has returned for girls in Salford for the first time after nearly 30 years. 

Boardman and Eccles Lacrosse Club ply their trade at Monton Sports Club, where they have been for more than 100 years. However, there had not been a competitive girls match at the club since 1995.

Phil Reader coaches the Boardman Bears team and is happy that the girls are back playing competitively. 

“The thing is that the girls enjoy it and they’re not bothered that they’ve lost,” Reeder said.

“They all have big moments. If someone scores, it’s a team goal not an individual goal. That’s really good. If the goalie saves it, that’s a massive thing.”

Image: Sam Ketch

Reeder, 63, who represented his country as a player says there is chances for everyone if he can achieve that. 

All the necessary kit is provided by the club for players, allowing anyone to play the game, and that takes away many barriers for local juniors looking to try a new sport.

Rob McGowan, a parent with two children who play at the club, helps out with the junior section of the club and he is very proud that his daughter is part of the new team at the club.

“She was one of the founding members, I guess, and I can just see her developing that social side of it and the team play.

“But seeing her coming along and playing with her friends and really enjoying the sport, it’s just an absolutely pleasure to see.”

Image: Sam Ketch

There are now more than 30 players in the girls squad, including many of McGowan’s daughter’s classmates, however the sport is also a great social outlet outside of school. 

“It’s nice for them to have that social interaction outside school, it’s good. 

“Netball’s a non-contact sport, this is a contact sport, so there is a bit of getting involved and it builds a lot of character as well.” 

Lacrosse has been a popular sport in Salford since 1896, when there were three clubs in Eccles alone – Eccles, Monton and Barton. In 1906 there was a split at Eccles, and Boardman were formed. 

Now, though, Boardman are the only club left in the area. 

The Monton based club have a big history, including players who have played internationally and a Flags Final victory. 

Boardman and Eccles are named after Boardman Street in the heart of Eccles, where their players all lived at the time of creation in 1906. 

Dave Griffiths, the club’s chairman, has been playing lacrosse since the 1960s and says there are many misunderstandings about the sport. 

Image: Sam Ketch

“People have got this misconception about it that it’s a wealthy man’s sport, and it’s not really. This is a blue-collar sport in a blue-collar town.” 

Griffiths is also the club’s chairman, and he is very proud of the club he presides over. 

“I’m really proud of our roots. We’re never going to be the best club in the world, but we are certainly the most passionate.”

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