TRAFFORD MV played Thornton Cleveleys at home in a game they were determined to win after a disappointing away performance and defeat earlier this season.
Faced with driving wind and rain MV knew they had to start on the front foot and play with intensity and this is exactly what they did.
Keeping the ball tight and playing through the phases saw MV deep in Thornton territory early on.
The defence from Thornton was effective and abrasive, until Carl Tanner hit a great line 5 metres out to take a short ball from scrum half Eccles and score his first ever try, and the first of the day for MV.
Pat Eccles was unsuccessful with the extras.
MV kew they had to keep the intensity up and keep the pressure on Thornton who were starting to build their way into the game with some strong runners in the midfield making yards.
The weather however was proving to be a leveller for both sides, with knock ons and poor passing becoming commonplace.
It became clear that whoever managed the conditions better would prevail.
After surviving a spell of pressure on their own line MV's solid well organised defence restricted Thornton to a solitary penalty and the score remained at 5-3 in MV's favour.
MV responded to the penalty by gaining territory through the boost of full back West and stand off Crampton, after a number of phases inside the Thornton 22 and several penalties in a row MV could not get over the whitewash.
After a disappointing knock on, MV were awarded a free kick at the resulting scrum. Number 8 Quigley, who had another fine game, took the ball at pace from 10m out and touched down unopposed under the sticks.
Eccles added the extras and took the score to 12-3 at half time.
As the second half began the weather deteriorated making any sort of free flowing rugby an impossibility.
With much of the half spent scrummaging, the game became a disjointed and scrappy affair.
This seemed to suit the bulkier pack from Thornton, good work at the break down from their back row restricted MV's options.
Frustration began to creep in, and after a number of needless penalties Thornton were threatening the MV half.
After another penalty was conceded, just outside the 22, and with captain Eccles in discussion with the referee, Thornton's 9 took an opportunist quick tap and ran virtually untouched to score.
The referee decided this was ok and awarded the try, much to MV's bemusement.
The conversion was successful and the score moved to 12-10.
MV now knew they must regain some territory and maintain their discipline if they were to see out the game as victors.
That task was made more difficult with the loss of both MV half backs to injury.
After a reshuffle in the backs, MV earned a penalty which was taken to take the score to 15-10.
After a nervy last 10 mins, MV held on doggedly to take the win in a game they failed to control for large periods of the second half.
Credit must go to Thornton who were dogged, well organised and came hard at MV all day.
MV remain third and have a trip to Hutton next week.