Preston Grasshoppers Senior Colts vs Glossop & Marple Titans
After another hectic morning of phone calls to wake and round up players we set off to the away fixture with 14 men and arriving with time to spare the players slowly changed and reluctantly made their way out into miserable conditions for the warm up.
The horizontal rain persisted throughout the game but this did not stop Hoppers starting brightly, with a fine break from fly-half Lewis Allen resulting in a try for Antony‘sausage’ Elliot. Elliot, who had a good day with a number of assists, was looking sharp after his rest on the 1st XV bench the previous day 0-7.
Next try went to Darren Spencer who picked the ball from the back of a ruck and dived over the top in superman style to ground he ball, Allen again converting 0-14.
The lead seemed to go to Hoppers respective heads and soon resulted in some petty ill-discipline, firstly leading to a Titans penalty 3-14 then a Yellow for Hoppers 7 Oli Hamilton after a cynical late tackle.
Hoppers did not let playing 2 men down deter them though and came back with a third try in the corner for fullback Adam Atkinson, after some fine backs play bearing in mind the conditions. Allen again converted from the touchline into a breeze to maintain his 100% kicking rate, a feat which he managed to sustain all afternoon, justifying his recent selection for the England Colleges team (Congratulations Lewis) 3-21
Lewis then used the boot to pin the Titans back in their own 22, lineout won and Luke Proctor broke from the back to go in next to the posts, Allen with the conversion 3-28.
After some scrappy play Allen then released Prop forward and Captain James Coulthard who set off on a rampaging run half the length of the field only to be felled just short of the line, amazingly the first player in support was the other prop Dan Burns who went over in the corner, extras by Allen HT 3-35.
Hoppers started the second half slow, which wasn’t helped by the number of turnovers the Titans gained from the rucks, an area which they outshone Hoppers all game. A long period without a score ensued, owing to a combination of errors from both teams as the conditions took their tool, before Hoppers centres Elliot and Madden combining to break on half way, with the latter beating a number of defenders to finish from 40m, Allen again obliging with the extras from in front of the posts 3-42. Hoppers decided the scoring had finished but the drama hadn’t, so not being content with having only 14 men they decided to pick up another yellow, this time scrum half Tom Lyth in the bin for aiding the referee with his decisions and no sooner had he returned captain Coulthard had to leave the field with an injury.
Full time 3-42.
Thanks must go to Glossop & Marple Titans for their hospitality (better weather next time please) and congratulations on their continued effort to then end, in a game where they could so easily given up yet grew stronger as the game went on, limiting Hoppers to just 1 score in the second half.
Report by James Coulthard (except the line about himself)