Sedgley Park 2nd XV 10 Hoppers 2nd XV 33
The second team began their defence of the Bateman Premier League in perfect fashion with a convincing victory over title rivals Sedgley Park. In glorious conditions the Hoppers pack dominated their hosts, giving their outside backs the ideal platform to breach the home defence at regular intervals.
Early Hoppers pressure saw Lewis Allen slot over a penalty although Park hit straight back, creating a simple two on one which resulted in a try in the right hand corner. The champions upped the pace and began to assert control and two more Allen penalties saw Hoppers build a 9-5 lead.
Hoppers were hammering at the Park door before Alex Austin strolled over following some well constructed phase play. Allen added a fine conversion and Hoppers led 16-5. Man of the Match Andy Napier combined well with Allen and Hoppers were again in behind the hosts’ defence, some fine handling resulted in a good team try for Matt Gargett.
Hoppers were well on top at half-time and but for the odd mistake they could have been out of sight. Credit to Sedgley Park who started the second period in strong fashion but Hoppers held firm and soon regained control of the game. Anthony Elliott then came agonisingly close to scoring under the posts but the referee correctly adjudged a double movement in the grounding of the ball.
Preston kept their hosts under intense pressure and the outstanding Dan Madden scored following an unstoppable driving maul. Allen’s conversion just missed but Hoppers were 26-5 ahead and victory was assured. Alex Austin who also enjoyed a fine game capitalised on a turnover before kicking through and scoring under the posts. Allen added the extras to put the gloss on what was an excellent first game in charge for new coach John Young. Credit to Sedgley Park who added a consolation try in stoppage time but Hoppers had dominated the game and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Other notable results in the Bateman Premier League included Caldy’s eighty point thrashing of Stockport and the re-branded Fylde Hawks’ thumping victory over Birkenhead Park. There were also wins for Macclesfied and Hoppers next opponents Burnage. Kick off will be 3pm at Lightfoot Green next Saturday so if you can’t manage to go and support the first team then feel free to go and cheer on the second string as they always appreciate the support.