FT: Hawcoat Park 17-19 Trafford MV
After heavy rain over night, Trafford MV travelled to Barrow expecting a mud bath, However the sun was shining and conditions were good for the match between Hawcoat Park and Trafford MV.
MV won the toss and elected to kick off as the wanted to apply early pressure from the word go, Hawcoat started the match well, sending strong runners crashing over the gain line.
This tactic paid off when their centre ran well up the middle of the pitch, the ball was turned over by MV and Trafford tried to clear their lines however the kick went astray and was picked up by the home winger who brushed off the tackles to make a simple pass for Hawcoat to score under the posts. The conversion gave the home side an early 7-0 lead.
This was not the start that MV wanted and they knew that they had to improve rapidly. From the restart Trafford really had the bit between their teeth as they camped inside their opponents 22.
Players were showing a real desire to run and take it to the home side, but the home side’s defence stayed strong. At this point Trafford lost their tight head prop and vice captain Joe Cooper, which meant that another of MV’s up and coming Colt’s players Conor Coogan was to make his debut earlier than expected.
A turn over at the breakdown allowed Hawcoat Park to clear their lines. Hawcoat Park had the ball just over the half way line, good defensive pressure from Matt Coxon in the centre forced a mistake which he quickly kicked forward towards the right-wing.
The ball was picked up at pace by Dom West who showed real skill to chip the ball over his opposite number and collect his own kick to race in for the try. The kick by Patrick Eccles was successful. 7-7 – game on !
Trafford now had their tails up and played some very attacking rugby which moved the opposition pack around the pitch. The next try came when Trafford were in a good position in the centre of the field on the opposition 22.
The ball was picked quickly by captain Andy Quigley who burst unopposed towards the posts. He was brought down by an ankle tap 2 meters short of the line but managed to pop the ball up to Andrew Clegg who was in support and dived over the line to make the score 7-12. This was to be the final score of the half.
Hawcoat Park came back into the game through some good set piece ball. At the line out the ball was collected and the driving maul was very effective. Trafford did not deal with the threat and a try was scored in the right corner. The conversion was missed 12-12.
Again Trafford were not going to take this score lying down and through good kicking with the wind by Pat Eccles and Stuart Crampton the chasing pack regained the ball inside the opposition half.
Again a pick up around the base of the ruck got Hawcoat Park on the back foot and a slick offload let veteran forward and man of the match John Kevan squeeze over the line for his second try of the season. The important conversion was slotted by Pat Eccles and the score was 12-19.
The final points of the match were scored when the home side, determined to get something out of the match, managed to get MV on the back foot again inside their own 22, when the ‘mauls’ was halted by the defence the ball was passed out to the centre who crashed over the line despite a great attempted tackle by Dom West who thought that he had held up the ball. The resulting conversion was missed into the wind 17-19/
MV then played out the rest of the match utilising short pick and goes and kicking deep into the opposition half. The final score was 17-19 and the win for Trafford was much deserved.
They played some good attacking rugby and the players worked hard for each other throughout the game. The win does ease the pressure on Trafford who are now 8 points clear of the relegation zone but a win at home against Upper Eden is a must if they want to stay up – with tough away games still to come.
The last two games were MV’s first back to back wins of the season and a win this weekend over Upper Eden would be a sure indication of MV’s potential to stay in this league and have a bigger say in the battle next season.
MV are putting out a call to all local rugby enthusiasts to come and support the team in Saturdays game with a 3.00pm kick off at MacPherson Park (M33 6LR). The game will be proceeded by MV’s inaugural chairman’s Lunch attended by sponsors and visiting Club officials as well as home guests.
(Article written for News4Trafford by Wilf Dooley)