Full Time: Wigton 20-29 Trafford MV
Match Report by: Wilf Dooley
Trafford MV Rugby made their long trip to Wigton in northern Cumbria on a lovely spring day, despite the remnants of recent snow still hugging the hilltops. Wigton had a big crowd giving their support to the home side who, sitting fourth in the league, were favourites for this game. Trafford MV, newly promoted this season once again relished the under dog tag.
Both sides entered the game keenly, although there did seem to be a lack of fire in the forwards to begin with as the back lines took the early initiatives. Good ball was there to be had however early mistakes from MV gave the home side the early advantage.
From a lineout on the MV 22m line play developed for Wigton stand off Hanabury to cut through the defence to score the opening try which was converted by Clark for an early 7-0 lead.
The game was close and MV missed a chance to open their account when scrum half Pat Eccles penalty attempt came back off the post. Wigton continued to press for dominance and a good kick for position brought pressure play which saw Trafford were caught off side, allowing Clark to extend the lead to 10-0.
MV have shown their competitive streak all season and this early deficit was not daunting and it was not long before Trafford showed potency in their backs when from a lineout on the right the ball was moved swiftly along the back line to outside centre Matt Coxon who ran through a tackler and had a clear run to the line before putting Andrew Moore over for an unconverted try 10-5.
Wigton brought the game back to MV through their pack with a series of tap penalties and driving mauls in close vicinity to the Trafford line. MV managed to overturn the ball however, the clearance kick fell short and was fielded by winger Miller who made good progress before linking with the forwards who eventually put centre Lewis over to score. This gave Wigton a 15-5 lead.
In response Trafford put together several phases of play in which they were patient and retained the ball well, a part of the their game that has improved greatly patience paid off and the ball was moved wide to the left.
With centre Andrew Moore punching hard lines, where the Wigton defence had lost its shape. After an initial line break, No 8 Danny Burke, recently back from injury, was on hand to take the scoring pass, Patrick Eccles added the conversion to narrow the score to 15-12 at the half time break
This was a real see saw contest but considering the long journey MV had taken it was them that seemed to have more fire and determination. What would the second half bring ?
The Wigton lineout had been working well and a good early catch saw the ball driven to the line before No 8 Creighton broke away to crash over from short range, with that score making it 20-12 Wigton should have settled down to secure a victory however Trafford MV were not there to make up numbers.
It was the MV player coach Stuart Crampton that first opened up as he cut straight up the middle of the park deep into the home 22, on his shoulder was Danny Burke who finished off in good style driving powerfully and outpacing the covering defence. Eccles could not convert but the score was now a close 20-17.
Next to take advantage for MV was second row Andrew Clegg who slipped through some poor tackling to gallop through the defence and scored a fine individual try under the posts. Pat Eccles’ conversion pushed Trafford into a deserved 20-24 lead.
MV then suffered the wrath of the referee as two yelow cards were picked up in quick succession which saw MV down th 13 men. This should have been Wigtons big chance however they failed to use their numerical superiority to good effect.
With time running out and the home side desperate to get out of their own ’22 MV’s captain and flanker Andrew Quigley picked up the ball at a ruck and ran straight through the middle of it in the place where defenders were meant to be.
Surging into the defending 22 he offloaded from the tackle to Rory Canham, one of MV’s youngsters given their 1st XV chance this season, who scored the decisive try, giving Trafford a 20-29 lead at the final whistle
This was MV’s 4th win on the trot and finally the side are showing their true worth at this level of rugby. The season has always promised better things than the relegation zone that MV have always hovered just above.
With MV’s next game being their final home fixture of the season, against Cumbrians Silloth MV will be hoping ti improve on their winning run yet again. MV are calling on local supporters to come down and enjoy the Clubs facilities and atmosphere in this last home game for the 1st XV. Kick Off 3.00pm at MacPherson Park (M33 6LR) admission is free.