In excellent conditions for running rugby Trafford MV welcomed league pace setters Fleetwood to MacPherson Park and were prepared for a tough task.
The referee had barely blown his whistle when MV realised what they had in front of them. The well drilled visitors took the upper hand from the start.
Fleetwood took the game to MV and early scrummage pressure brought a try for winger George Orrie, converted by Richardson with the wind behind him.
Trafford responded and looked to run the ball at every opportunity – resulting in a penalty chance missed by Pat Eccles from close range, fleetwood took advantage and a catch and drive forced a penalty which Richardson converted.
Youngster Greg Warren impressed for MV throughout the game and from the restart he claimed a high kick, swift hand moved the ball wide right for MV’s Jamie Kingdon to force his way over in the corner.
The conversion was missed 5-10. MV looked to improve on this but a well organised visiting defence held firm, a steady flow of Fleetwood possession always had MV working hard and another Richardson penalty made it 5-13.
Fleetwood were good in all aspects of the game showing good organisation and pace and commitment in both attack and defence.
A try from Brookfield with a missed conversion now started to open a gap at 5-18 the next try was the killer however as with MV on the attack turnover ball allowed the defence to spring forward as Stapleton broke and made the halfway line, good support was on hand for Phillips to score under the posts, Richardson added the extra’s to close the half at 5-25.
Fleetwood opened the second half throwing everything at MV but staunch defence from MV led by Danny Burke and Andy Quigley kept them at bay for a long period until eventually Richardson raced over then converted his own try to extend the lead to 5-32.
MV tried hard to get back on terms with Stand Off Stuart Crampton and Outside Centre Zac Crabb having good runs but ball retention was a problem as the visiting back row were always on the front foot.
MV were hit badly with the loss of Hooker Ross Anderson and Flanker Sean Garvey as playing at this higher level begins to take its toll on MV, the game went Fleetwoods way at 5-32 and was another marker in the sand for MV as to the steps they need to take to climb the level 7 rugby ladder.
The result see’s MV slip to 10th and with 2 tough games imminent MV need to regroup quickly and consolidate their performances.
Next Up for MV is Bolton away and followed closely by second placed De La Salle on Guy Fawkes Day, of which a bonfire party will follow at the club, gates open at 6pm.
(Image: Trafford MV)