TRAFFORD MV slipped to a 24-12 home defeat to Tarleton in the North Lancs/Cumbria division last Saturday.

A young, energetic Tarleton XV were up for the game and the spectators enjoyed a good competitive contest.

Trafford opened well and pressed hard in the early stages and narrowly missed an early try when Tarleton were yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on.

MV responded with a penalty from Pat Eccles to edge them in front.

With all the play going MV's way a shock was on the cards when an interception saw the visiting winger race the length of the field to score.

Trafford had hardly got back into their stride when a deep kick from Tarleton led to a line-out which MV lost badly to go two tries behind in the same number of minutes.

Tarleton were now the more confident side and a high workrate had MV chasing the game. With half time approaching Eccles brought MV back into the reckoning with his second penalty to reduce the arrears to 12-6.

With a heavy mist covering the pitch, MV were looking to get back on par.

However, a missed tackle in midfield allowed Tarleton through again to stretch their lead as their conversion in front of the posts was missed.

MV's pressure was good and penalties were forced in dangerous positions which saw Eccles land a further two kicks.

But with time running out, the hosts had to push for a result and as Tarleton kicked deep into the MV 22, the home side sought to run the ball out of deep defence only to lose possession under pressure which then brought a simple run in under the posts with the resulting conversion closing the scoring.

It was a great advert for the game as both teams put in a fully committed performance and the referee kept a strict, yet fluent control of the game.

The result earned a bonus-point win for the visitors which saw them leap to third in the table while MV slipped a place to eighth.

Man-of-the-match for MV, with outstanding defence and strong attacking surges, was back-row player Danny Burke.

MV's next game takes place after the Christmas break at league leaders Aspatria on January 6.