In perfect conditions Trafford MV headed into the heart of Lancashire to defend their slim lead at the head of the ADM Championship.
MV went into the game in confident mood with a strong squad and taking a view of previous results and this looked well grounded as with only a few minutes on the clock MV moved the ball quickly wide to the left wing for Tom Newton to exploit the space and cross near the corner.
The angle was a too acute for kicker Pat Eccles and MV were in the lead 0-5. Trafford were playing well and looked the more threatening of the sides however there were too many errors in their play and moves were not being finished and handling was somewhat loose at times.
Garstang were competing well in all phases and their fairly mobile pack were able to defend well against MV’s strike runners. It was the home side that struck next with a try out on MV’s right flank which also went unconverted to level at 5-5 which both sides took into the half time break.
MV had missed 2 great opportunities with 2 scything runs through the centre from Zak Day and Jamie Kingdon who were both left without support play and balls were turned over and the chances gone!
The second half should really have gone Trafford way as again opportunities were missed again and a definite try was not given by the unsighted referee who came from behind play and missed the touchdown by Pat Eccles.
It was MV however that got he scoreboard rolling again as stand off Aaron Booth jinked his was through the oncoming defence to score a very good try which Pat Eccles improved upon with the conversion 5 – 12 for MV.
Garstang were far from down and out and they quickly hit back with a penalty reducing the deficit to 8 – 12. the game was good to watch as both sides tried to play the ball wide and both worked hard on their defence which limited good clear chances.
Trafford eased further in front as Eccles knocked over a good penalty kick from close range 8 – 15. Just as it seemed MV could make the gap to win comfortable the home side pulled the rug from under
MV’s feet as they attacked through their forwards and poor MV tackling allowed a try to be scored close enough for an easy conversion which brough the title chasers back to reality with the scores levelled at 15 – 15.
Time was running out and the crowd had pretty much settled on a draw when in the dying seconds of the game the home side gave a penalty away within kicking range.
Pat Eccles, who’s kicking had not been good made up for it as he took his time to line the kick up and this time there was no mistake as he split the uprights with the ball and the final whistle blew with the final score Garstang 15-18 Trafford MV.
Garstang can be pleased with their performance and Trafford can count themselves lucky to have taken winning points from the game. They will need to be much more clinical in future games if they intend to be competing at the top of the table at the end of the season. Toughness in the pack will come as players get more games under their belts and in the backs the initial strike attacks are good but support and link play needs to be much improved and bonus point wins hunted down.
Trafford have a rest weekend coming up and then it is a home fixture on Oct 2nd with Littleborough as the opposition. Local support is always welcome at Trafford MV as the team look to defend their Championship lead which is now 2 points ahead of Sefton.