Hoppers 2nd XV 93 Stockport 2nd XV 0
The second team preserved their 100% record with a ruthless demolition of Stockport at Lightfoot Green. In a match played in glorious autumnal sunshine Hoppers ran in fifteen unanswered tries against the men from Cheshire. Credit should go to the visitors as they remained willing throughout, but their squad appears to have been decimated by injuries and players moving on to pastures new.
Preston dominated territory and possession throughout with Stockport only managing the occasional foray into the Hoppers half. Man of the match Dan Madden opened the scoring and Hoppers were always in control. Ollie Yates scored a hat-trick whilst Russ Flynn bagged a try and nine conversions in a 23 point haul. Mark Murray returned to fitness and form with a fine brace of tries whilst his offloading in the tackle caused the visiting defence problems throughout. Harry Reddick also scored twice to cap a fine all round display whilst his centre partner Guest capped his debut with a well taken try.
Hoppers managed to spread the scores around as Doney, Fletcher, Duckworth, Wells and Birchall all crossed the whitewash in what was an encouraging all round performance. Young’s men offloaded well, looking to counter attack with pace at every opportunity whilst the clean sheet means that Young’s tyros have conceded a miserly 44 points in their six matches this season. The only disappointment of the afternoon came just before the final whistle when Hoppers prop Oga Mabaya was shown a red card following an altercation with a Stockport player. The fact that Mabaya was sin-binned in the first half probably left the referee with little alternative.
However, the win sees the second team move up to third place in the table behind Chester and leaders Sedgley Park. Hoppers have though played a game less and can still boast the only unblemished record in the league. Young’s men are now well placed for Friday night’s derby against Fylde Hawks. Hoppers will be hoping to repeat last season’s efforts against their local rivals as they secured three comprehensive victories, scoring nearly 150 points in the process. The men from the Woodlands have been in confident mood in recent weeks as their much vaunted back line has led something of a revival in fortunes. The rebranded Hawks have enjoyed some big wins in this season’s Bateman Premier League but suffered their second reverse yesterday as they were beaten by Wilmslow. Hoppers enjoyed a huge win over the same opponents several weeks ago but shall not be taking Friday’s fixture lightly as local bragging rights are almost as important as the four points on offer.
Thanks to Mike Craig for providing us with some wonderful snaps once again.