Trafford MV tough it out for victory.
Severe weather warnings flashed on the motorway displays on the way to Ormskirk for this first round Lancashire Cup clash with one of this season’s leading Division B teams. The road signs weren’t wrong – a very high wind, whipping diagonally across the pitch and driving rain made playing conditions very challenging indeed.
This wasn’t one for the faint hearted, no chance of running rugby and passing beyond the first man was a lottery in a game where keeping everything nice and tight was the order of the day for the MV Junior Colts.
Ormskirk kicked off with the wind advantage in the first half. The spoils were even early on with the forwards seeing most of the ball in an attritional encounter played for the majority in the breakdown and on the floor.
As both sides came to terms with conditions it was Trafford who increasingly enjoyed some decent possession with Tom S creating a series of impressive turnovers to allow breaks from MV into the head wind. Trafford stuck to the tight game plan and good phases through midfield off the back of solid work by the pack saw the ball popped up to Tom Q to break the defensive tackle and run through for the first try to MV. No conversion into the wind, 0-5 Trafford.
Ormskirk then rallied and started to play to the wind advantage with kicks into the corner with a series of line-outs ensuing. The Ormskirk pressure ultimately told - with the throw-in won close to the try line the home team break through the Trafford defence to score in the corner. No conversion, 5-5.
Trafford reacted positively though and countered with a period of concerted pressure at the Ormskirk end of the pitch. Strong breaks by Nico and Dave won good territory, but no final ball off the resulting breakdowns meant all the possession did was to see MV playing in the Ormskirk twenty-two through to half time without a further score, not a bad achievement in itself given the prevailing conditions.
Half time: Ormskirk 5 – 5 Trafford MV
Trafford took time to settle in the second period, but ultimately the box kicking from Ross at scrum half started to put pressure on Ormskirk. A series of scrums and phases close to the home side’s line resulted, but Ormskirk’s defence was fantastic – time after time they held Trafford off. Impressive determination by Ormskirk but Ethan ultimately picks off the base of another ruck created from the five metre scrum to crash over. No conversion. Trafford take the lead 10-5.
Despite Trafford playing with the wind, Ormskirk came back strongly with very good forward’s play and MV had to be dogged in defence throughout the team to resist. Ormskirk pressed for the score to level the tie but Trafford’s resolve held to keep them out to the final whistle.
Final score: Ormskirk 5 – 10 Trafford MV.
It wasn’t pretty and not a classic match, but one where the guile and resilience of the visitors ultimately won through in a close and hard fought encounter. Ormskirk are a hardy rugged side, they will continue to trouble sides this season and it is the sign of a decent MV team that they ground out the win against them in the poor conditions.
Thank you to the home team for getting the match on and to the hardy referee who very fairly adjudicated this tough encounter.
Back to league duties for Trafford next week, this match continues their decent run and should bring further confidence to a squad displaying strength in depth today.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Tom Shillito
Report by Adrian