Trafford MV welcomed Tarleton RFC to MacPherson Park on Saturday when many games across the North West were again ravaged by frost. a young, energetic Tarleton XV were up for the game and the spectators enjoyed a good competitive game.
Trafford opened well and pressed hard in the early stages and narrowly missed an early try when Tarleton were yellow carded for a deliberate knock on MV responded with a penalty from Pat Eccles 3-0. With all the play going MV’s way a shock was on the cards when an interception saw visiting winger race the length of the field to score 3-5.
MV had hardly got back in their stride when a deep kick from Tarleton led to a line out which MV lost badly to go 2 tries behind in the same number of minutes 3-12. Tarleton were now the more confident side and a high work rate had MV chasing the game. With half time approaching Pat Eccles brough MV back into the reckoning with his second penalty 6-12.
With a heavy mist covering the pitch MV were looking to get back on par however a missed tackle in midfield allowed Tarleton through again to stretch their lead as their conversion in front of the posts was missed 6-17.
MV’s pressure was good and penalties were forced in dangerous positions which saw Pat Eccles land a further 2 penalty kicks to be right back in the game at 12-17. With time running out MV had to push for a result and as Tarleton kicked deep into the MV 22 the home side sought to run the ball out of deep defence only to lose possession under good Tarleton pressure which then brought a simple run in under the posts with the resulting conversion closing the score at 12-24 as the whistle blew.
This was a great advert for the game as both teams put in a fully committed performance and the referee kept a strict yet fluent control of the game. The result saw a bonus point win for the visitors which see’s them leaping to 3rd in the table while MV slip a place to 8th. Man of the Match for MV with outstanding defence and strong attacking surges was back row player Danny Burke.
MV’s next game will be in the new year on Jan 6th away at League leaders Aspatria.
(By Wilf Dooley)