MV Through To Cup Final
Trafford produce a solid performance to win through against a spirited Newcastle side.
Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts 20 v 5 Newcastle (Staffs) RFC Junior Colts
Bright and breezy at Macpherson Park for this Lancashire Cup semi-final. The Trafford lads hadn’t played together for a month and were a couple of players down with the fixture clash of this tie with the county match – but led admirably by Luke Cox, as Captain, they were straight at Newcastle and delivered a telling first half display combined with a tight second half to seal the vital win to see MV through to the final of the prestigious Junior Colts Lancashire Cup.
Three first half tries from Alex Taylor, Greg Warren and Tom Shilito against a single score from Castle delivered a fair half time score of 17-5 to the home side. Each try followed a similar pattern with Trafford’s forward’s stronger at the breakdown and making good yards from recycling at the ruck – so the pressure built inside Newcastle’s twenty-two. Quick ball out to the runner saw the three tries delivered out wide with Greg Warren converting two scores magnificently in a challenging wind.
Newcastle were dangerous on the break, their centres made yards and the ball out wide created the platform for them. But MV’s defensive line speed was excellent on the day, led by David Cunliffe, the closing down and tenacious tackling only allowed Newcastle to play on the front foot in short periods of attacking pressure.
That said the visitors stuck to their task and delivered the unconverted score after working the ball back in field following a break from out wide mid-way through the opening period – at that point to bring them back to within a score.
But the metres made by the Trafford pack was impressive, with Sam Murray turning in a very strong display from second row, admirably supported by the back row and the strength of the penetrating play of the front eight in general. This advantage held through the half, re-opening the gap to half time with the home forwards remaining on top throughout the encounter.
Half time 17-5.
Trafford had the wind advantage in the second period and mixed up the play a bit. Using their backs more MV delivered some running play from deep to gain yards. Trafford used the conditions cleverly with penetrating kicking from Ross Dunleavy and Greg Warren closed down quickly by Robbie Savage and Ethan Pearce to keep the territory pressure on the visitors.
Lineouts were well contested, although a bit inconsistent in the wind from both sides, but Alex Taylor’s defensive closing down, scrum pressure and fierce tackling marked out a man of the match display for the hooker.
For all the territory MV only put three points on the board in the second period, a penalty converted by Greg Warren. The game became increasingly scrappy and fractious as the game closed. Suiting Trafford the match ended in a series of mid-field exchanges as both teams cancelled each other out to the final whistle.
Final Score: Trafford MV 20 – 5 Newcastle (Staffs)
A good, cohesive display by the MV Junior Colts delivered a collective team performance to bring the win to a well deserving Trafford side. Newcastle made it difficult and they never gave up in a match, which was well refereed and remained engaging affair throughout.
On to two finals now for the Trafford lads – The League Bowl and the Lancashire Cup Final – the team remain unbeaten in knock out competition this season. Featuring in two spectacles at the pinnacle of Junior Rugby in the North West of England is good return for what has been a hard fought campaign.
But no rewards yet – the boys sights must be on some silverware - the hard work and commitment must be maintained through these vital games for a team which deserves everyone’s full support in delivering on the ambitions of a club whose first team are setting the standard in their league and the Colts are looking to emulate in their age group knock out competitions.
League Bowl Final against Leigh Junior Colts RFC – 2:00pm Lymm Rugby Club, Sunday 24th April – please come along and support the lads!
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Alex Taylor
Report by Adrian