In perfect conditions to open the 2017/18 league season in the North Lancs / Cumbria League MV was left wondering what the future may hold as they were routed by the home side in a crushing 10 try 70-19 defeat.
MV fielded a young side with 5 of last seasons Colts playing and a number of notable absences from last seasons team and it was obvious from captain Andy Quigleys post match comments that his frustrations surrounded a lack of selection options to get anywhere near his strongest XV onto the pitch.
Only minutes had passed when Bolton struck first with a penalty from Waddicar and followed this sharply with tries from Stanfield and Singleton for an early 13-0 lead. MV were shell-shocked and struggled to hold the pace and fire of the home side. However they dug in and came back with a try from centre Dominic West converted by Pat Eccles. They stemmed the flow of tries for a short while and some good attacking runs from collected kicks by full back Henry Brownlow gave MV a little hope however good defence and sharper attacking options saw Bolton cross twice more before half time for a comfortable 29-7 lead.
The second half was only going to go one way and as MV picked up injuries to Kingdon and Kelly times were getting tough. MV managed to pick up a couple of consolation tries through 2nd row Andy Clegg and substitute back row John Feldman but their hopes of sneaking a losing bonus point were dashed as Bolton seemingly scored at will with a further six second half tries. Good kicking from stand-off Waddicar with 7 conversions and a couple of penalties boosted Boltons score for a 70-19 finish.
This was a tough game for young Simon Thornton to make his 1st XV debut but he can hold his head up with some good defensive work under heavy pressure. Fellow former Colt Henry Brownlow collected MV’s Man of the Match nomination. MV now need to react dramatically to get recognised 1st XV players into the selection criteria to put a backbone into the side and ensure they do not suffer early defeats making the rest of the season a battle.
This weekend MV travel away against, this time to Tarleton, who kicked off their campaign with a 20-32away win at Aldwinians. Wins were also achieved by Burnley, Littleborough, Oldham and Wigton.
On a brighter note MV’s mini/junior section opened their season last Sunday and will continue on Sunday mornings at 10.30am at MacPherson Park, M33 6LR. New players are welcome from the age of 4 years upwards for boys and girls. The Club is particularly keen to hear from local teenage boys who may be playing for their school teams and looking for a Club or possibly be at a non-rugby school and looking to take the game up from scratch – contact Greg on 07834 857905. Also at MV on Wed Evening at 6.30 is Walking Rugby for the over 50’s men and women contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Wilf Dooley