A real test for Trafford MV
22nd November 2015
Lymm RFC Junior Colts 17 v20Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts
This was a real test for the Trafford, despite coming off a couple of back to back wins they were pitted against a high flying Lymm team who defeated them with some ease earlier in the season and a had only lost once to date this campaign.
That said confidence was high in the MV camp and on a cold, but relatively still day it was Trafford who were on the attack early with a kick to touch leading to a series of phases ultimately played across the Lymm try line. The ball was recycled positively by the eager Trafford forwards, but the initial chance out wide was repelled by excellent Lymm defence. Trafford settled again and ran through a couple of controlled drives before Greg made the call for a well delivered ball off the base of the ruck to score on the blind side by the corner flag.
Greg took the difficult conversion attempt off his own try and struck a great kick sailing through the posts for an early Trafford lead 0-7.
Lymm came straight back with vengeance. Good distribution from the breakdown saw the home team display their excellent passing skills, with speed the ball reached the Lymm Centres to punch a hole through the Trafford defence and create the Lymm opening score. Try converted 7-7.
Lymm acted with the initiative now – they saw the ball out wide offered potential and they worked a quick backs move after a passage of possession in the Trafford half to stretch the defence. The ball reached the Lymm wing, the kick through was read by MV, but the rebound fell kindly for the attacking side bouncing straight into the Lymm player’s arms to allow him to slide through for the try. A bit fortunate – but you make your own luck and Lymm capitalised further with a fantastic conversion to make it 14-7.
These were ominous times for Trafford, two quick scores had given Lymm strong momentum, but Trafford countered with excellent work at the breakdown and clever kicking from deep to win territory. Trafford scrapped and fought doggedly in a game plan which was progressively successful in ball retention and stopping the flow of play to Lymm’s dangerous backs.
The game was increasingly stop-start though with repeated penalties conceded on both sides leading to Lymm being regularly pinged for infringing at the breakdown and Trafford being successively offside. There was little pattern to the game at this stage but as the half wore on this suited the more direct Trafford forwards and the probing MV kicking game.
Trafford pressed as half time neared and MV forwards were on the charge again making good progress into the home side’s twenty-two. From the back of another succesful ruck, Ross clipped a ball over the Lymm defence to wrong foot them and meet a perfectly timed run from Greg for him to score his second try out wide. The conversion was missed, but Trafford had taken the sting out of the Lymm attack and set their own stall out positively for the second period.
Half time 14-12.
All thought this was going to be close now. Both teams were in it and despite very differing playing styles each had the fire-power to win this one.
It was an enthralling start to the second period as first Trafford pressed and then Lymm came – a pulsating period of play with the teams giving everything. The referee’s whistle still came though as neither team learned from their mistakes in giving away penalties for more or less the same repeated offences; knock-ons crept in as the intense defensive pressures from both sides inevitably caused lapses. As the set plays were very evenly fought throughout the day, no one team yet capitalised on the errors effectively and the match continued as an enthrallingly tight encounter.
It was Trafford who looked more composed as the half progressed, their advantage at the breakdown began to tell in the possession and territory stakes, Tom S was winning good turnover ball and the pack were making the most of it. A rumbling drive forward again saw excellent off loading through the middle and drew the dangerous tackle from the Lymm defender. A yellow card for the culprit and a potential three points from the penalty for MV – but no, for a second week the cries of the spectators were ignored and the kick to touch yielded the attacking line out for Trafford.
Good control off the top of the line out delivered the maul, the “raging bull” like work of the forwards saw a surge that drew repeated Lymm offences and resulted in their second yellow card. Trafford had the numerical advantage and they made it pay off in the next passage of play with the drive being far too strong now for Lymm, Muzzy picks and dives over for MV’s third try. Not converted but good reward for a concerted period of attacking play.
Fifteen minutes left. 14-17.
Fairly tense now particularly as Lymm seemed determined and galvanised by their reduced numbers - as a sign of a class team they absolutely refused to lie down here. They attacked in waves, knowing a try would see them regain the lead and push for the win. Trafford defended with verve, but the Lymm pressure was telling and with MV conceding again for an off-side, so Lymm had the penalty on the Trafford twenty-two. Lymm elected for the penalty conversion, which was excellently slotted away. 17-17.
Very tense now. And Lymm came again – the home team sensed victory now - picking lines with aplomb and creating space - Trafford defence had to move up yet another level, cover tackles from all sides thwarted the attacks but Lymm made ground and yet again Trafford conceded the penalty – Lymm elected for the kick this time as well, just outside of the attacking twenty-two, this time for the lead. But this one drifted just wide and Trafford’s relief was palpable.
Extemely tense now. Trafford come back as an attacking force - the restart yielded the possession for Trafford and this time the Lymm infringement yielded a penalty just over half way. Literally a long shot. Greg stepped up for the pop at goal – the ball was good for distance but fell just wide. The twenty-two drop out was fiercely contested – Trafford rip the ball and make good headway into the Lymm half. This is heading for the draw, when the referee’s whistle blows sharply for the infringement by Lymm. Trafford have the penalty and a kick to win it.
Unbearably tense now. All quiet, all extremely quiet as Greg places the ball on the tee. Outside the twenty-two – reachable, but with this pressure, difficult. Up he came, struck it and there it was - OVER – the converted penalty. The referees whistle blows for the last time and Trafford celebrate. Trafford win 17-20.
A fantastic effort by both sets of players. Either team could have won that one, but it was Trafford’s game plan put into action very effectively after the early Lymm tries which ultimately secured victory – nice tight play, starving Lymm of quality ball and a ferocious, dogged performance sealed by the bit of quality finishing and the nerve of the MV fly-half which ultimately won through.
A match with a high penalty count, but very fairly and consistently refereed – thank you to Lymm for a great game and as always first class hospitality.
Trafford set for a cup game next week – they can reflect on a tight game here filled with excellent performances from all who took to the field – this match was very close and both teams deserve great credit for delivering an entertaining, committed, frantic and ultimately dramatic display.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match:All of them
Report by Adrian