On a warm September afternoon MV welcomed fellow league newcomers Carlisle to MacPherson Park, however, unlike the home side the visitors had entered the league from the lofty heights of North One West and as a result an excitable crowd anticipated a much tougher game than the previous weeks opening days 37-10 victory over Workington. Unavailability’s saw a reshuffle in the pack with Captain
Andy Quigley moving to the back row alongside Gareth Davidson. Whilst in the backs the return of Pat Eccles at scrum half saw player/coach Stuart Crampton start in the unaccustomed role of full back alongside Henry Brownlow who enjoyed a promising debut on the wing.
Trafford won the toss, elected to kick and good work from both forwards and backs alike saw the home side gain the upper hand in early exchanges.
This pressure resulted in an early 3 points from the boot of fly half Ben Wheeler.
It wasn’t long, however, before repeated infringements saw Carlisle slot a penalty of their own in what can only be described as a nervous opening period of the game for both sides.
Both teams were level at 6-6. At this point the game began to open up and a strong break up the middle from MV prop Joe Cooper saw him throw a long pass to winger Jamie Kingdon who couldn’t quite beat the covering defence to the corner.
From this position the ball was recycled, however, an unfortunate knock on from the resultant phase relieving the pressure on the visitors defence.
This was unfortunately the story of the half for MV as good positions were continually thrown away by errors in the visitors 22.
Carlisle began to show their class and superior fitness in the final 10 minutes of the half, with MV conceding two tries in this period.
The first of which came from a number of well worked phases which saw the MV defence finally stretched too far with the visitor’s winger crossing in the corner.
The second came from a series of pick and go phases from the ruck, which MV should have defended better, none the less these two late tries knocked the wind out of the home side and unfortunately set the tone for the remainder of the game 6 – 16 at half time.
Carlisle started the second half with sustained pressure in the home sides half, with their driving line out coming to the fore.
This ultimately led to their third try from a catch and drive line out following numerous attempts from the home side to repel this set piece.
At this stage in the game bad turned to worse for the home side as they lost Ben Wheeler to a straight red card following a scuffle involving both sets of players.
Soon after MV conceded the bonus point try, after a good break from the Carlisle winger. This disappointment initially appeared to spring life in to the home side, with Davenport coming up with the home sides only try of the game 11-23.
At this point Carlisle’s numerical advantage and superior fitness eventually told with the visitors coming up with a further two tries before the end of the game.
Carlisle’s execution and clinical finishing is ultimately what made the difference in this game.
The next game for Trafford MV this Saturday is in the Northern Lake District at Silloth on the Solway coast – the first away trip of the season and probably the longest.
MV will be without Ben Wheeler and Andrew Moore and will be wary of the home side bouncing back from 2 opening defeats by Oldham and Aldwinians.
Trafford MV are looking for players to Return To Rugby with the backing of the England RFU – if you have played Rugby and taken a break but would love to get back engaged in the game give Wilf Dooley a call on 01942 884542
Both serious and occasional players are welcome at the Club based in Sale at Finny Bank Road, M33 6LR or find us via social media on Facebook / Twitter and Instagram.
(Image : Trafford MV)