Trafford Slip Up In Quagmire
Caldy battle through against a spirited Trafford side in an epic muddy clash.
31st January 2016
Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts 7 v 8 Caldy RFC Junior Colts
This was an enthralling match played in Winter drizzle on a tough, boggy and slippery Mac Pherson Park. Both sides gave everything here and with only the whites of their eyes visible from the mud covered players as they left the pitch - the club washing machine looked as if it could be clogged up for a few weeks to come.
The result of this game had the potential to dictate a top or bottom half finish to the league for either team. It was Caldy that pushed forward on the front foot from the off. Fast, feisty and full of determination the early hits from the visitors were ferocious. Trafford were pushed back as Caldy built phases and started using quick ball to their backs to break MV’s defence.
Nice interplay saw Caldy make ground into Trafford’s twenty-two after a period of early concerted pressure – quick ball off the back of the breakdown saw Trafford’s line broken and so the Caldy attacker crashed through to score the unconverted try. 0- 5. Ominous for the home team.
Caldy looked very solid in this first quarter and Trafford’s counter attacks were repelled by a big, brave defence who turned rear guard action into attack with speedy breaks from deep.
Trafford threw a bit back at Caldy though as the game settled – some decent moves were being built off the pack who were starting to deliver some platform for attack. Some positive variation was being shown by Trafford – primarily still battering with the single man off the base of the ruck for yards, but when they did fling it out wide some creative flair was evident with cross field kicks and deep runners making yards.
Simon Thornton’s take off Greg’s kick through midfield was especially impressive in the conditions and the resulting attack delivered another line out for Trafford to attack.
But to no avail at this stage. Caldy’s defence stood strong, a move out to the visitors backs made ground again and Caldy’s dominance at the breakdown re-emerged resulting in an over eager Trafford backline being caught off side. The penalty was slotted away to give Caldy an 0-8 lead at the twenty five minute stage.
All credit to Trafford here though. They rallied to some effect and came back so strongly as to change the tide of the half to their favour as they built strong pressure, territory dominance and possession up to half time.
Caldy were now on the back foot as Trafford advanced and drew the penalty for holding in the tackle. Difficult chance and the kick was pulled just wide. So the half ended with Trafford continuing to press at 0-8 to the visitors.
Trafford built on this strong close to the first period – they were the better team in the second half – much more direct, tough, punishing and with all the territory and possession they camped in Caldy’s twenty-two. This was an impressive turnaround - Trafford had dominance now , but Caldy were defending with everything they had.
This was epic, a classic attack versus defence played out in a theatre of mud and slime with the back drop of determination and increasing tension developing between the teams.
Trafford developed phase after phase and drew repeated penalties from the tenacious Caldy defence. Each time a kick to touch saw Trafford convert the line out to the driving maul – but Caldy were excellent at seeing off Trafford’s snarling pack – each push repelled with another. Great to watch – a first class effort from both teams. Caldy clear time and time again meaning Trafford have to rebuild.
And so the home team did just that. Not daunted they came forward again and this time Ethan Cornick, who had battled away throughout each Trafford advance peeled off the back of the drive to break the Caldy line and score the converted try under the posts. 7-8.
Still Trafford came. With Luke Cox and Tom Shilito to the fore in the forwards and the backs forcing now with Greg Warren, Rory Canham and Dave Cunliffe looking eager in defence and attack for the home side. Joe Hambleton breaks from full-back with a lateral run to make ground and heap further pressure on Caldy as he breaches their twenty two. All Trafford now – but a sturdy Caldy are holding them out and they clear again.
Then a break from “mudfield” (sic) by Muzzy breaks through again to create space, Trafford on the rampage forward but the referee blows for holding on in the breakdown to take the momentum away from Trafford.
Caldy stabilise – ten minutes left now and despite the punishing attacks by Trafford, so Caldy have the resolve to recover and exert some pressure of their own as the half closes. The visitors calm things down, re-asset themselves in the final passages of play and resist Trafford’s final sortees.
Credit to Caldy they also played this game at full throttle – they have a powerful team and they maximised their output. Taking the pressure off their defence in the final minutes they played in Trafford’s half and willingly took the opportunity to punt the ball out at the final play to secure the narrow victory.
Final score 7-8.
Just a great game, it had the potential to develop into an ugly, bad tempered affair, but it just kept on the edge and on the right side of a hard fought high quality rugby encounter. Very well done to both teams and congratulations to Caldy on a hard fought victory.
Thank you to our referee who braved the elements to keep us all under control and to the hardy support who came along to witness the spectacle on a wet and cold Trafford, January Sunday.
Trafford drop to seventh after this match and Caldy rise to fourth in the league – getting to the end of the season here. As we have said before not much between the teams in this top table and today Trafford couldn’t be faulted for the effort and commitment against an excellent Caldy outfit.
A cup game for Trafford next week – there will be no complacency after this one and plenty of time to recover for the hard working, mud covered, tenacious squad that is Trafford MV Junior Colts.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Luke Cox
Report by Adrian