TRAFFORD MV made the long trip to Aspatria in good form but eventually struggled through lack of cover for injuries and coming up against a much bigger team in a 29-18 defeat.

The visitors opened brightly and got the better of the early exchanges at Bower Park in the North Lancs/Cumbria clash. Ten minutes of constant MV pressure had the home side worried but the defence held out before a Pat Eccles penalty edged the visitors ahead.

Aspatria were confident on their own turf and their full-back burst out of defence on a long run. A scrum against the head allowed Aspatria to maintain pressure and force a penalty.

The resulting line-out saw a catch and drive off the back. as the big men piled in time and again, sucking MV's defence in for the ball to be whipped wide on the left for home winger Noutch to run in unopposed.

MV responded when left winger Jamie Kingdon split the home defence and outpaced the cover to score under the posts and Eccles converted easily.

Aspatria were powerful in the scrum and after winning the ball, they broke through the centres for Atkinson to score a try converted by Foster.

The home side came right back again with another catch and drive which piled over the MV line for hooker Ravell to claim the try to make it 17-10.

As half time approached Aspatria extended their lead when an endless number of drives for the big pack eventually saw Atkinson scramble over on his hands and knees. Foster converted for a decisive lead at the break.

Shortly into the second half MV had to reshuffle their line-up when scrum-half Eccles injured his knee with MV's only sub Kieran Lally replacing him.

This loss was a big blow for MV but they still had plenty of fight and Stuart Crampton kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears.

The teams nullified one another for a long part of the half until Aspatria surged down the right flank with good inter passing and Hodgson scored.

A late flurry from MV saw a good attack down the left with Kingdon rounding off a good game for him with his second try.

On Saturday, MV host old rivals De La Salle at MacPherson Park, kick off 2.15pm.