Early K.O. for 2nd XV

Date: 03 December 2013

The second team resume Bateman Premier League action on Saturday with a derby match at Lightfoot Green against local rivals Fylde Hawks. The league has now split into two conferences and Hoppers will play their six closest rivals home and away having topped the preliminary ladder by winning all thirteen of their fixtures.

Young’s men renew their rivalry with the Hawks having beaten them for the seventh encounter in a row during a fiercely contested match just three weeks ago. The Hawks sent a strong side, containing a number of first team squad members but Hoppers produced a tremendous second half display to win 22-19. The sides will meet again at the Woodlands on the 29th of March when the teams conclude their Conference A fixtures. After some lean times in the Bateman Premier League, Fylde have enjoyed a strong season to date and given the strength of their back line they are a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, here’s a brief resume on the other sides that have qualified for conference A and the fixture dates:

Macclesfield (a 14/12/13 & h 08/02/14): Reigning champions and perennial challengers for silverware, the men from Cheshire always boast a highly organised pack combined with quicksilver outside backs. Hoppers pushed them all the way last season but their freak result against Burnage proved decisive. However Preston overcame the Lions 31-8 when the sides met at the Green in the Autumn.

Sedgley Park (h 21/12/13 & a 15/02/13): The men from Whitefield were, along with Macclesfield, a dominant force in the BPL but have fallen on harder times in the last eighteen months. Hoppers have won the last six league meetings but Park, much like their first team, are definitely getting back on track. They pushed Young’s men hard when the sides met in the Autumn with Hoppers winning 22-21. Ably skippered by the recognisable voice and presence of Chris Leader it would be a surprise if the Tigers aren’t involved in the title race.

Caldy (a 04/01/14 & h 22/02/14): The men from Paton Field have made great strides in the last two years, boasting a young and mobile squad with a threatening set of backs. They are especially formidable at home and Hoppers have had some really tough encounters in recent months, notably the Raging Bull Cup Final and their meeting a fortnight ago when Young’s men won 34-30. Caldy will be hoping to sustain a title challenge this time out as they started last season really well but fell away after Christmas.

Stockport (h 25/01/13 & a 08/03/14): The Beagles have been something of a surprise package this season, maintaining a position right near the top of the preliminary ladder. They achieved a notable victory when they dismantled Fylde Hawks in late Autumn and are clearly capable of beating any side in the conference. Hoppers produced arguably their best performance of the season in early November when they overwhelmed the men from Bramhall 64-8.

Sale FC (a 01/02/14 & h 22/03/14): The men from Heywood Road have acquitted themselves well after earning promotion last season. A competent and well drilled side whose ambition to progress is clear. It’s difficult to conclude whether they can mount a title challenge as they perhaps lack the experience of some of the other more established sides. However they are certainly an able outfit who deserve their place in Conference A. Hoppers visited Heywood Road and came away with a 45-14 victory and the fixture on the 1st February next year is already one that the more nostalgic squad members will be looking forward to.

Don’t forget that the second team kick off at 12-45 on Saturday so the lads would appreciate your kind support before the first team’s tasty looking clash with Caldy. Young will announce his team on Thursday evening so keep an eye on the usual outlets for news.

@Jebbster1975 @JY75

Back to Club News