Macclesfield 2nd XV 12 – 15 Hoppers 2nd XV
Hoppers came from behind for the second consecutive weekend thus maintaining their winning start to the season. In changeable weather conditions, not conducive to the type of rugby they favour, Hoppers showed great resilience to overcome a heavier and more experienced Macclesfield side.
Words by Ade Jebb.
Young’s men started brightly but ill-discipline cost them dear. Hoppers might argue that they were on the wrong end of some contentious refereeing but by full time they showed enough quality to put any lingering grievances aside.
A succession of penalties saw Macclesfield secure position in the Hoppers twenty two and from the resultant line out the home side put their heavier pack to good use and drove over for the opening try.
Several minutes later the Lions repeated the feat and Hoppers deficiency in defending driving mauls looked as though it would make for an arduous afternoon.
The Cheshire heavens opened but this appeared to spark Hoppers into life and they showed admirable ambition, firstly dominating a Macclesfield scrum and then getting on the scoresheet via the industrious Harrison Moulding.
There was nothing for Hoppers to fear and they finished the half the stronger, butchering a gilt edged chance with the last play.
Despite trailing 12-5 at the break Hoppers were firmly on the front foot. As the second stanza took shape the home side seemed content to sit on their lead and kick to the corners. Hoppers were buoyed by Macclesfield’s lack of ambition and were happy counter when necessary or secure decent field position.
One such counter saw Hoppers produce the best rugby of the game. With the back row heavily involved they produced a huge overlap and the impressive Jobe Roxby slid over for the score. Where previously they’d been wasteful, Young’s men were ruthless and despite trailing 12-10 they were well in the ascendancy.
Macclesfield continued to kick their possession away and did not really threaten the Hoppers line. However the visitors continued to find good field position and apply pressure. At this point it was just a question of when they might secure the winning score.
After squandering a couple more chances it was prop Ryan Wilkinson who powered over with the help of his pack. Roxby missed the extras but Hoppers led 15-12 with two minutes remaining.
The hosts had one last chance to snatch the points but despite Hoppers best efforts to make a mess of things they were unable to breach the Preston defence. Without hitting their straps Hoppers have shown great resilience to secure two victories and are well placed near the top of the table. It bodes well for next weekend when Hoppers welcome old rivals Fylde Hawks in what should be an entertaining local derby at Lightfoot Green.