U14s suffer pain in the vase
By Richard Culver
Memorable cup campaign ends in final defeat against a very good Warrington side
A one sided final in the end, but the much improved U14s had their moments in a game that showed the lads the levels of accuracy and fitness needed to trouble the top sides in the region.
They say a good plan is effective for a few seconds, and the U14s with the team talks fresh in their ears threw away their plans early, allowing the kick off to bounce and struggling to clear their lines, Warrington capitalised and with seconds played the score was 5-0.
Trafford were finding their opponents resolute and the big runners were failing to make headway, Warrington were tackling well and using a very aggressive blitz defence to good effect to close down space. The lead was extended before MV, using their set piece to win a series of penalties were unlucky not to score, first Ethan, then Dan and Azzanne had opportunities close to the Warrington line, but the defence was solid and MV were unable to trouble the scorers.
A poor end to the half saw Warrington build a comfortable lead, and they added an early second half score to take the game well beyond us.
MV did rally, and a series of drives through the forwards gained them a foothold in the Warrington 22, Jack was distributing well and eventually Will forced his way over, despite some desperate defence. Jack converted and the boys had something to celebrate.
The remainder of the game was pretty uneventful, MV squandered some promising opportunities, taking the (wrong) blindside option too often, meaning a frustrating afternoon for Oliver Barrett in particular, but in all honesty, the MV inside backs never quite got the room to get behind Warrington and despite some good carries from Jack, Will, Ethan and Leon, the MV lads didn't threaten.
Obviously a disappointing end to a very eventful campaign but the boys have progressed well and on Sunday we actually gave debuts to three players, so squad strength is improving all the time.
The squad for the game was:
1 Oli J; 2 Charlie H; 3 Ethan; 4 Dan; 5 Azzanne; 6 Yousuf; 7 Will C (c); 8 Jacob; 9 Will R; 10 Jack; 11 George; 12 Cian; 13 Tom; 14 Oli B; 15 Robin
16 Oscar; 17 Leon; 18 Eoin; 19 Ali; 20 Charlie B; 21 Alastair; 22 Matthew; 23 Rafi
If we reflect, some great wins in the cup, with demolitions of Manchester; Sedgley Park, Rossendale and Ormskirk, a match remembered for mainly wrong reasons against Orrell; the disappointing loss at Burnley and the poor period around the New Year that followed, despite the flashes of progress seen in the derby win vs AOM.
Fleetwwod was a test of character and resilience, passed, just, on a foul day in early March, before the highlight of the season, the rampaging win over Eccles, where the team really clicked.
So despite the loss, a season to look back at with satisfaction, the improvement shown by many of the lads has been great, and the experience gained yesterday and will help them push on next year.