Improved Performance Promising for the Future
Sat 23rd Jan 2010, 02:30 PM
11 Garstang - Trafford MV 25
After the long away trip last week to Barrow, Garstang’s fixture list got no easier with an away trip to high flying Trafford MV where they put in one of their strongest performances of the season.Garstang arrived in Manchester with one of its strongest packs but with some changes in the backline, seeing Alistair Winkler starting at full back for the first time.
In wet and misty Trafford, the game got underway in a hectic and crunching manner. Receiving the ball Garstang ran right at the heart of the home team challenging them in the tight. This placed MV on the back foot and stifled their play and dangerous back line. Looking more aggressive and committed than at many times this season Garstang were creating good opportunities. Some good defending meant that the early pressure didn’t result in any points for the away side.
The home side was being given a stern test and they were trying their best to get the ball to their backs but Garstang’s midfield defence is one of the best in the league and time and again tough tackling stopped them in their tracks. This forced them to kick deep to relieve the pressure and this brought the young firebrand fullback in to play. Running the kicks back against the weak chase Alistair several times broke the first line of the defence and only desperate tackling stopped him going over on more than one occasion.
It was becoming clear that a mistake or a piece of skill would give one team the advantage and it was MV who would profit from a mistake. A knock on and quick penalty give MV good position and good hands gave the home team an overlap and the first score (5-0).
Garstang reacted well; turning ball over on the opposition 22 John Robby slotted the easy penalty to make it 5-3. Keeping the pressure on it looked like the away team would score again and take the lead, going close several times. A quick penalty gave for MV meant a half time the score was 8-3 and Garstang were left to rue their missed chances.
As often happens, Garstang started slowly in the second half and MV fresh from a severe hairdryer treatment from the coach took advantage. Infringements gave the home team good positions and 8-3 quickly became 18-6. It would have been all too easy to give up and suffer a heavy defeat. This is not how Garstang rolls now and they came right back at MV attacking from depth at the heart of defence and after twice going close Keith Yates “darted” over for the try (18-11).
Garstang kept attacking the hosts but the MV backline, kept quite during the majority of the game went over for one more try for a final score of 25-11. While this was still a defeat, both sides knew Garstang had given MV one of the toughest games of the season.
Garstang are looking in some of their best form against some of the better teams away from home. The next few weeks present some winnable games and only by hard work and numbers at training will the First XV be rewarded.
Team: D.Miller, M.Barnes, B.Coreless, K.Yates, R.Orr, G.Slater, A.Pye(Kelsall), J.Richardson, P.Brown, J.Robinson (Capt), R.Bell(Charles), M.Everest, A.Emmott, A.Nixson, A.Winkler