In bright but breezy conditions on Sept 24, MV welcomed the experienced Wigton to McPherson Park and put in a strong performance against a bigger opposition.
Wigton returned from Trafford MV with a hard fought 32-27 bonus point victory.
Wigton opened with a strong wind behind them during the first half and early pressure gave them a kickable penalty inside the Trafford half, full back Gregg Smith took advantage of the wind to give Wigton a 3-0 lead inside the first minute.
Trafford rallied and forced a penalty in front of the posts with Pat Eccles levelling the game at 3-3 on nine minutes.
Heavy Wigton pressure saw MV struggle to get out of their half and good possession gave Smith an opportunity to score a try in the corner, the conversion was missed but Wigton led 3-8.
Playing into the strong wind MV kept ball in hand and pushed forward Missed tackles from Wigton enabled the home team to score a converted try through stand off Stuart Crampton, with Eccles converting giving the hosts a slender lead of 10-8 after sixteen minutes.
Smith added a further penalty on 22 minutes giving Wigton a 10 -11 advantage and following the first scrum of the game on 24 minutes Smith was on hand once again to score his second try which he converted to give the visitors a half time lead of 10-18.
MV were unfortunate to miss a penalty opportunity just prior to the break.
As the sides changed ends it was Trafford who were now looking to take advantage of the wind but it was the Wigtons heavier forward pack that were delivering the backs with good ball resulting in Gregg Smith scoring his 3rd try which he duly converted and Wigton held what appeared to be a comfortable 10-25 lead on 49 minutes with all of Wigtons points having been scored by the full back.
Trafford were never out of the game and following a period of sustained pressure Wigtons Mark Deans was shown a yellow card for not retreating 10 metres and MV seized the opportunity. Within the space of 5 minutes MV scored 2 converted tries through firstly Crampton and then No 8 Danny Burke with Eccles converting both to reduce the arrears to 24-25 with 14 minutes still to play. MV then suffered a yellow card themselves when young Henry Brownlow was carded for back chat to the referee. This gave Wigton some respite and with Deans back on the pitch Wigton were now back at full strength.
As Trafford pressed to take the upper hand a fumble on the half way line enabled Aaron Henderson to kick through, a further kick knocked the ball over the line and Henderson managed to touch the ball down to give Wigton a 4th try converted by Smith to extend Wigtons lead to 24-32
With only three minutes plus a large amount of injury time left to play, trafford were now having their best spell of the game and although Wigton were defending well MV forced a penalty in front of the posts to bring them within 5 points.
The final minutes seemed like an eternity for the Wigton defence as the Trafford forwards were now battering the Wigton defence within touching distance of the whitewash.
Despite conceding two penalties within 10 metres of the line, which MV had to run in search of the vital points, the solid green line of Wigton defenders put in some tremendous tackles and somehow managed to prevent Trafford from scoring.
A spilled ball allowed Smith to boot the ball out of play and Wigton had triumphed 32-27.
Wigtons full back Gregg Smith having scored twenty-five points and making two try stopping tackles was justifiably the Wigton man of the match whilst for MV player coach Stuart Crampton and Driving forward Danny Burke played well.
This was a game MV could have and probably should have won having missed good opportunities and being without 4 regular selections.
MV have seen now that they can compete in this League and will be keen to get into action this weekend away at Upper Eden in Cumbria.
(Image and words: Trafford MV)