As Aspatria made the long journey to Manchester bright sunny weather was on hand to provide perfect conditions for an open game of exciting Rugby. Could this be the game that kick starts MV’s season ?
With MV kicking off to the visiting side the ball was run back at MV and lack lustre defence saw tackles broken and good in possession retained. MV was struggling to contain the Cumbrian’s and with only 5 minutes on the clock MV were down 0-5 to a try from Ravell, the conversion missed. From this shock start MV were quick to rouse their troops and they cam back into the game when young Greg Warren did well to field a good kick and then run it deep into the Aspatria half to draw a penalty which was well struck by Pat Eccles 3-5 for the visitors.
From the kick off Warren was there again leaping like a salmon to retrieve the ball which was secured by MV. Quick hands saw the ball whipped out to right-wing Zac Crabb who raced down the touchline from his own half skirting past flailing defenders for a fabulous try. Pat Eccles added to the score with an excellent conversion 10-5 to MV. The game had swung in MV’s favour !
Crabb was on hand again as MV kicked deep into enemy territory, the ball bounced awkwardly and left the Aspatria full back flatfooted as Crabb followed the kick to collect the loose ball and cruise over. Eccles again converted 15-5 for MV.
Another of MV’s talented youngsters, who will soon be heading off to University, Henry Brownlow made some good in roads into the Aspatria half and then found centre Andrew Moore a hand to add the finishing touch as MV looked to be taking a firm grip on the game 22 – 5 to MV.
Had MV done enough…….not according to Aspatria. The visitors reacted to this latest score by upping the effort among their forwards to ensure more set piece ball was coming their way. Possession was vital as they saw the game slipping away. A series of well supported forward drives aw MV slipping off their tackles again which resulted in a try from Scott which he converted himself 22-12. Aspatria had upped their game and it was obvious to see the talent in their side which see’s them competing neat the top of the table. Good play again driving up the middle of the park and playing off the advancing pack brought a further score this time for Rowe converted by Scott narrowing MV’s lead to 22-19. Aspatria kept the pressure on MV and from a lineout close to the MV line a good catch was driven determinedly over MV’s line to snatch the lead as halt time approached 22-24. Had MV let it slip ?
The second half-opened in similar vein with Aspatria taking the game to MV however good defensive work allowed MV to get into the visitors half and force a penalty which in form Pat Eccles cracked over from a good distance 25-24. Aspatria’s forwards were playing well and taking ball into the MV ’22 good quick rucked ball brought short close passing which broke through the MV defensive line with Ridley crossing and Brethwaite converting for Aspatria 25-29.
MV were not letting go and exciting play from both teams saw the play ebbing and flowing as players fought to dominate ball. MV found touch in the visitors ’22 and as they took possession it was down to scrum half Pat Eccles to secure a bonus point with MV’s 4th try which he converted 32-29.
With the lead swapping and both sides looking dangerous in attack points were valuable and as the clock ticked down a penalty option was taken by Scott for the visitors to level the score 32-32.
This game was going either way and time could well prove crucial to one side or the other. It was Asparia’s time to press and force a lineout on the MV line. On their own put in MV failed to secure ball and Dickinson took delight in dropping on the loose ball to snatch an unconverted try 32-37. Time was running out and MV launched an all out attack, drive after drive crashed into the Aspatria defence and with a final push the ball was driven over the defended try line only to be held up by the defence and for the referee to blow the final whistle as a deflated MV fell to a bitter-sweet defeat 32-37 to Aspatria.
This was an excellent performance from MV and one which brought them 2 bonus points in defeat. This was more like the MV that finished off last season with a good series of wins and if this from can be maintained then the wins will come to MV that is for sure. A good crowd gathered to watch this game and this exciting style of rugby will keep them coming to MacPherson Park. This weekend MV make the short hop to De La Salle in Salford who went down 23-17 at Bolton.
New players are welcome to play at Trafford MV contact Wilf 01942 884542 if interested.
All words by Wilf Dooley