MV Junior Colts Win The Lancashire Cup
Trafford MV lift another piece of silverware – this time the prestigious Lancashire Cup.
1st May 2016
Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts 12 v 10 Kirkby Lonsdale RFC Junior Colts
The Junior Colts won a tense battle against a talented Kirby Lonsdale team in the final of the County Cup held at Widnes Rugby Club.
Greg Warren’s try and conversion with two minutes remaining sealed the victory in a match where MV had struggled to assert themselves and they had looked second best for long spells. Kirby Lonsdale will think themselves a little unlucky on the day, but the guile of the MV boys and that little bit of magic from the fly-half saw the Trafford team over the line, in what was fair reward for a magnificent season’s effort from the tenacious Trafford side.
Neither team started well here – nerves were showing with handling errors and infringements to the fore in the early exchanges. Both sides were eager, the tackling and pace was ferocious, epitomised by MV’s Ryan Adkins who was sharp throughout, but neither side found it easy to control play.
Kirby Lonsdale were more than matching Trafford on the loose and it was them who eventually settled to secure a possession in Trafford’s half and force the penalty after MV had again stepped out of line. The kick was missed, but signs were looking ominous for Trafford and with the next spell of pressure so Kirkby varied things with the chip over the top. The MV defence slipped and failed to mop up, the Kirkby attacker collected and dabbed down for the opening try. No conversion, but Kirby Lonsdale had the deserved lead at that point. 0-5.
Trafford woke up and forced a series of attacking line outs – but these set plays weren’t going Trafford’s way – what had been the de rigueur attacking option in the previous week’s final yielded nothing today. The opposition spoiled brilliantly, mauls were well defended by Kirkby and the breakdown remained fiercely contested throughout.
Trafford just had to scrap it out and work for another way through.
The opportunity eventually came - a pick up from the base of the scrum by Captain Tom Quealy opened up space on the blind side, Ethan Pearce was in support to receive the pass, beat the defender and fly over under pressure from the defender to score a winger’s try – just inside the corner flag. No conversion from out wide, but Trafford were on the score board. 5-5.
As often happens after a try, the Trafford boys lost concentration and Kirkby have the attacking line out – they play it safe and go short, not picked up by MV and so the Kirkby attacker runs in the try in the corner with Trafford chasing his shadow, too easy for the opposition here. No conversion. 5-10.
Trafford rally though to half time. They put increasing pressure on at scrum time pressing Kirkby’ scrum half and eight – they win territory and force attacking line-outs. But Kirkby know Trafford’s script here and snuff out the threat to the whistle with the final maul held up over the Kirkby line as the half closes.
A lot of effort, but Trafford behind at the interval. Half Time: Trafford 5 – 10 Kirkby Lonsdale
Changes during the break by Trafford and the second period begins - the pace continues to be frantic, with the tackling remaining excellent from both sides. Trafford’s defence, the bedrock of their day remained strong and they increasingly did look solid at the back.
Territory advantage swung to Trafford as time moved on, but Trafford were frustrated by Kirkby and without their usual poise and structure they looked disjointed as an attacking force, attempting to play a game plan which appeared somewhat alien to them, MV made frequent errors when on the front foot and were repeatedly penalised for misdemeanours by the referee.
So, where to go, what to do – Kirkby were happy defending, looked dangerous on the break from full back and were now popping passes around the backs with ease. Trafford had to dig very deep here. It was uncomfortable watching. The old war horse that is MV’s style battling away through the middle – revert to type - the hard slog, the hard work, yard by yard trying to gain the ground that would give them the chance.
Time passed slowly, painfully – into the last five – it is slipping away from the black and whites. They cannot penetrate the Kirkby line - They need that moment of magic, they need that release.
One more push, they win the scrum on the twenty two – they control it the balls flies out to Greg Warren – space, that valuable space and the inspirational fly-half makes the most of it, no other thought in his mind. His moment, Trafford’s moment, he charges for the line three tacklers on him. But momentum wins, the power of physics is on his side, he is over under the posts and the equalising try is Trafford’s – the lads celebrate, somewhat over exuberantly on the basis the kick needs to be made, but they trust the boot of the number ten and so it is, Greg converts his own try to give Trafford the lead. 12-10.
Two minutes left. Kirkby restart – Trafford lose it on their twenty two, scrambling, mad dogged defence from MV now. They infringe – Kirkby have no kick option from here. They tap, Kirby go, full blooded driving run from their bullocking forward – but Tom Shilito is the brick wall – what a tackle, Kirkby are pushed back. This is agonising, not least for Tom as he holds his shoulder in excruciating pain, but they keep going. Up at Kirkby again, fast line speed from MV – the pass goes loose from Kirkby, the ball drifts from danger and the turnover is won by the pouncing Trafford defence. Ball out. Final whistle.
Did we really see that? We certainly did! Trafford MV - Lancashire Cup Winners 2016.
Final score Trafford MV 12 – 10 Kirkby Lonsdale.
Exhausting for all. The MV lads, the coaches, the supporters – everyone drained after the fight back. It takes time to sink in, no immediate excessive celebrations here – it was a battle and Kirkby Lonsdale deserve every credit. They were fantastic today, an excellent performance by them, a great team and a first class support. We look forward to re-matches with them next season. Well done Kirkby Lonsdale.
Thank you to Lancashire Rugby and to Widnes Rugby Club for putting on a great day. Thank you also to the referee and linesmen for officiating such a tight and tense Cup final.
So, the MV lads take the Cup. They had to work so hard and dig deep today to come out with the win. Trafford’s proud coach Peter Hunter tells the master of ceremonies he has “only” been with Trafford for forty years and has looked after the boys since they were “under nines” – the compere is impressed and nods recognition to the backbone of the Trafford triumph, a wry smile breaks out on Pete’s face.
With strains of “We Are The Champions” bellowing out Tom Quealy lifts the silverware and Trafford are well and truly on the map in North West Junior rugby. The boys break into “Pete Hunter’s Black and White Army” and the team fold into the night’s celebrations.
Congratulations to Trafford MV, to the management, all the coaches, helpers and supporters. It has been an amazing season. To lose their first six games of the campaign, then going on to be undefeated in knock out competitions, resulting in two cups wins and to ten match wins overall against the very best in North West rugby is excellent reward for the hard working, dogged, determined and resilient Trafford MV Junior Colts.
Congratulations to all the Trafford MV Junior Colts Team – Winners!
Trafford MV Man Of The Match:Pete Hunter
link for pictures http://goo.gl/Y42qlP
thanks to martin hambleton for permission to publish