Trafford MV’s season closed on a glorious day at MacPherson Park in front of a big crowd. Bolton were the visitors and were competing for a play-off spot in North Lancs / Cumbria league and were coming into the game on the back of 14 consecutive wins !
MV’s captain Andy Quigley led his team into action and the crowd were not disappointed with what they saw and both teams played an expansive game.
Bolton opened strongly and MV conceded early errors which brought the visitors the opening score from Murphy to which MV responded with a long-range penalty from Pat Eccles 3-5. On ten minutes a drive from a line-out saw Bates break off and score for Bolton, Speakman converting 3-10.
Bolton were looking good with strong runners and good handling causing MV problems. Bates scored his second after 20 minutes from a quick tap penalty, Speakmans conversion making it 3-17.
MV came back into contention when Andy Quigley made a break from 30 yards, a neat side step took him away from the defence and a try close to the posts resulted. Pat Eccles converted to go 10-17. Bolton struck twice in quick succession as first Robinson and then Bates scored tries plus a Speakman conversion. MV came back again before the break with Jamie Kingdon bursting through a strong defence 15-29.
Bolton came out strong once again with a McClusky try to a Bates penalty. MV was striving to keep in touch and this time it was coach Stuart Crampton that scored. Bate collected his 4th try of the game for Bolton from a tap penalty and dummy. MV rallied somewhat in this period and tries came from Pat Eccles and Luke Cox with Eccles converting both. Both sides were enjoying the tussle and both picked up another try each before the whistle blew at 41-53 to Bolton.
Pat Eccles was Man of the Match for MV probing and pushing at every opportunity. MV can be pleased with their season and will surely have now recognised where they have to improve to get into those top four promotion chasing places.
The club also need to improve their strength in-depth and will be on a recruitment drive over the Summer to find local players willing and able to compete for a 1st XV jersey at Trafford MV.