Trafford MV took the short trip to De La Salle in this weeks North Lancashire and Cumbria league match. After being beaten at the death last week against Aspatria, Trafford were in a confident mood and hopeful of another Improved performance.
De La Salle on the other hand also needed to improve after being beaten by Bolton the week before.
Trafford elected to kick off which was taken cleanly by Della and gave them a chance to attack. Della used their forwards well to make inroads into the MV half and good handling in the backs got MV on the back foot. Della drew first blood as their prop Brooks dashed over the line. The try was converted by Wheeler to make the score 7-0.
Trafford regained their composure and from the kick off applied pressure to the Della attack and managed to turn the ball over. A penalty was conceded and this was easily slotted by Pat Eccles 7-3.
From the restart Della played with more determination and at times the MV defence simply wasn’t good enough. The opposition took advantage of this and scored two tries in quick succession from Van der Pol and Cooper 19-3. As in recent weeks Trafford have looked dangerous when they have possession and this continued as James Mathie’s welcomed return saw him making powerful jinking runs into the De La half. Better support to the rucks allowed Pat Eccles and Stuart Crampton to unleash the pace of the back three Zac Crabb, Henry Brownlow and James Matthie. Trafford’s first try finally came as debuting Luke Cox bounced off a tackle to twist skilfully over the line with Eccles converting 19-10.
Trafford were creating chances but we’re just unable to get over the final hurdle. Again De La came back into the game and scored through Cooper making the score 24-10, securing their bonus point. Trafford we’re not yet ready to throw in the towel as, in form centre, Andrew Moore crashed over the line to make the score 24-17 at half time.
MV hoped to start the half exactly how the first ended and it looked promising as the kick off was caught well and the ball was kicked towards the opposition 10 meter line. However, when De La got the ball in hand the leaky defence of Trafford gifted the opposition a chance to score the next try through Watson 29-17. The game shifted firmly in De La’s favour when MV number 8 and captain Andy Quigley was punched in a collapsed maul and, rather than let the referee deal with the incident, reacted with a punch of his own. He was shown a red card.
MV then began to play brilliant attacking rugby, strong carries by Danny Burke and Joe Cooper kept the opposition on the back foot forcing De La to defend their line for some time. Eventually, Luke Cox was able to squeeze over from the base of a ruck to score the second try of his debut 29-24. Trafford however, could not continue at this pace with legs tiring and 14 men on the pitch De La began to score seemingly at will. They ran in another 4 tries in the last 15 minutes through Massey, Van der Pol Watson and Smyth which was extremely disappointing for the Trafford players who put in tremendous effort at times. With a final score of 55-24, Trafford will be hoping for a better performance and a first win of the season next week at home to Oldham.
Man of the match for Trafford MV was James Mathie who looked unstoppable at times.
(By Wilfred Dooley)