Rochdale 2nd XV 8 Hoppers 2nd XV 71
The second team secured an emphatic win at sunny Rochdale on Saturday and went some way to erasing the disappointment of their frustrating defeat at the hands of Sedgley Tigers.
Both sides started positively and enjoyed some decent early possession. Matt Gargett opened the scoring for the visitors as the Hoppers pack made a mess of a Dale scrum. Woof failed to convert the try but Preston had an early lead. However Dale returned the favour, perhaps catching the Hoppers pack unawares. Young’s men were penalised at the breakdown and it was 3-5 to Hoppers.
Cameron Robinson was next on the board as Hoppers turned Dale over. The young winger beat three defenders on his way to a fine sixty metre score. Hurst added the extras and a couple of moments later Hoppers were over again. A barnstorming run from the impressive Proctor proved the catalyst to a try for Ben Geatches.
There followed a period of stalemate but another robust carry from that man Proctor presented Woof with a score under the sticks. Hurst added the conversion and Preston were ahead 3-24.
Woof doubled his tally minutes later following a fine burst by Elliott. Skipper Tom Hurst slotted another conversion and Hoppers had all but secured the points. On the stroke of half time Murray made a break down the blindside before offloading to Elliott who was tracking well. The winger, returning from an injury break, crossed for an unconverted try.
Hoppers led 36-3 at the break and Dale were unable to deal with their pace, power and penetration. Young’s men still had lots to work on but their performance was a vast improvement from the previous Friday.
Woof then secured his hat-trick after Hoppers dominated another Dale scrum. That man Hurst made sure with the extras. Young’s men were now scoring at will and Dale were tiring, Reddick hit a classy line before offloading to Frings who grabbed his first try for the club. Hurst’s conversion saw Hoppers reach the fifty point mark.
Proctor was still prominent and Hoppers added three quick converted tries with Reddick, Elliott and Todd crossing the whitewash. Credit should go to Dale as they made one last effort and had Hoppers under pressure. Murray was sin binned for not retiring the required ten yards and a slip in the Hoppers defence saw Dale score with the last action of the match.
A positive afternoon for Hoppers who look forward to the visit of Sandbach this weekend. There then follows two sizeable fixtures against Macclesfield and Fylde so Young’s men will be working hard in the coming days.