Trafford MV Rugby Club travelled to Littleborough in the ADM Championship on Saturday in bright sunny, but cold. conditions.
MV had a number of changes in their squad as player availabilities left the club floundering. MV opened the game playing down hill on a sloping pitch and looked to use this to their advantage in the first half.
Trafford opened strongly winning good set piece ball and looking lively with ball in hand. MV kicked deep in the early stages and pressure play forced a long range penalty which stand-off Aaron Booth converted easily 0-3.
MV maintained their pressure and stayed in good positions and were soon awarded another penalty attempt, Booth this time hit the left upright and bounced back for the home side to clear their line.
Littleborough were playing with spirit and played some rugby in the MV half which brought them a penalty of their own kicked by their stand off 3 – 3.
Trafford began to give away too much easy possession which was enabling Littleborough to build and impose their own game and a second penalty shot from them also missed but showed their continued threat.
MV kicked through a ground ball by Jose Rivas which was followed up and hacked on again taking play close to the defending try line, MV pressed through several phases of play before scrum half Jon Lord darted over the line breaking from the back of a maul. Booth converted 3 – 10 for MV.
As the first half was coming to a close Jon Lord struck once again for Trafford picking up from the base of a scrum and sniping in from close range. Booth did the honours with the kick and it looked as if MV may have broken clear and got a grip of the game 17-3.
The second half opened and MV needed to be the team to score which might have given them the impetus to press ahead. However they struggled with long lineout ball which Littleborough relied on and MV also showed a lack of variety in their play constantly relying on big midfield runs.
Littleborough won lineout ball and moved wide left quickly passing through hands to score and convert 10-17. MV earned a further penalty which Booth converts 10-20. Littleborough are not giving up and good forward play brings them a late try and a missed conversion attempt 15-20.
MV miss a late penalty attempt then find themselves quickly defending back in their own half as the home team look for a late upset. MV finally win a turnover ball from second phase play and take the opportunity to kick to touch and close the game off as a deserved but far from convincing 15-20 away win.
Jon Lord was the Player of the Match for Trafford for his 2 tries which sealed MV’s result.
The win was not enough to secure their top spot in the league as Aspull go just ahead of Trafford on points scored difference with both teams level on 47 points.
This coming weekend Trafford MV are playing at home with Ellesmere Port as the opposition.
MV won 7-55 in the away fixture back in October and must really be looking to see a big improvement in their play to get a similar result this time around.
Kick off will be at 2.15pm and supporters and invited to come along and enjoy the clubs hospitality from 1.00pm.
(By Wilf Dooley)