Trafford MV Rugby are still finding the season of goodwill a distant hope as once again a good performance resulted only in a losing bonus point away at De La Salle in Salford last weekend.
Overcast but good conditions produced a platform for good rugby from both sides which brought plenty of action to an otherwise dreary winters afternoon.
Trafford kicked off confidently and forced a scrum from the receiving catch which then led to an offside decision against the home defence.
MV kicked deep into the corner and from a well taken lineout patient control saw the resulting maul being driven over the Salfordians line with MV hooker Ross Anderson claiming the touchdown.
The conversion was missed for and early 0-5 lead to MV. This early score was tainted by the loss of prop Joe Cooper following a clash of heads.
De La had strong runners up the middle of the pitch and managed to get into the trafford 22 forcing a penalty which was given away by Danny Burke for not rolling away from the tackle. It was kicked successfully by Petrou 3-5 to MV.
From the restart Trafford were again on the attack and good support play allowed for quick ball from the breakdown which was passed down the line to Jamie Kingdon who powered over in the corner.
The conversion was again missed 3-10 to MV. During the next few minutes MV were dealt a double hammer blow when first skipper Andrew Quigley and then influential centre Eddie Brady were both forced to leave the pitch with hamstring injuries.
De La came back at MV and got back into the Trafford half of the pitch and had some good possession.
Trafford managed to kick clear for the ball to be caught by the home winger who was quickly tackled by Jamie Kingdon who then managed to rip the ball free and race 50 meters to score under the posts.
Pat Eccles converted this time for a 3-17 lead. MV were playing well and looked on top of the game kicking well to keep De La Salle in their own half, however towards the end of the first half De La struck at a good time, getting a firm foothold in the game and despite a good defensive effort from MV the home side were able to crash over the line, adding the conversion to narrow the score at half time to 10-17.
As the second half opened Trafford looked a different side, De La Salle won an early penalty and the MV’s first up tackles were not completed and this gave space for De La to loop a pass over the top of the MV defence to score in the left corner. The added extras nudged the the home team into the lead for the first time in the game 18-17.
De La Salle were now building up a head of steam and their forwards were taking the game to MV. They scored twice with Trafford players falling off tackles and MV’s defensive efforts were just not good enough to stop the attacks. Both tries were well converted for a healthy 32-17 lead.
As they have done so often this season MV did not give up on the job at hand. MV pounced on a dropped ball with Clegg hacking on into space, centre Matt Coxon picked up and popped to support players, as the cover defence scrambled back a long pass wide to winger Jamie Kingdon enabled him to score his third try of the game and MV’s fourth to salvage the bonus point.
Man of the Match for MV was flanker Gaz Bevan for making an a great defensive effort. MV’s next game will be away at Littleborough on Jan 7th 2017.
Trafford MV wishes all their supporters, sponsors and News4Trafford readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
(By Wilf Dooley)