Hoppers 2nd XV 18-14 Caldy 2nd XV
The second team (pictured above against Caldy last season) opened their league campaign with a tight victory over Caldy on Saturday. They deserved the spoils having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory but made heavy weather of things in the second half.
In part, this was due to early season rustiness but the line out and their ability to manage a game will need work in the coming days.
Hoppers certainly have an exciting back division and if the pack provide suitable ball they will make hay this season. The home side led 13-0 at half time thanks to well-taken tries from Kane Bevan and Jack Swarbrick in addition to a penalty from Tom Hurst. Whilst they didn’t hit the heights of last season’s cup win they put some decent phases together and kept the visitors at arms length. Jack Ward was prominent throughout whilst forwards Feeney & Wardell also impressed.
The home side started the second period on top but a spilled ball near the Caldy try line inexplicably led to a score for the visitors whose winger out sprinted the covering defenders.
Ward hit back immediately for Hoppers, cutting a nice line and brushing aside several would-be tacklers. The conversion was short but Hoppers had an 18-7 lead.
The men in blue and white huffed and puffed for the duration of the half and struggled to create any clear-cut chances. Hoppers were reduced to fourteen when Capstick saw yellow. The visitors made the extra man count, building some sustained pressure. Some fine footwork led to a converted try for the men from Paton Field.
The score made for an uncomfortable period for Hoppers but they saw the game out, defending well enough when it counted. Caldy had two men of their own sent to the sin-bin, including one of their replacements who, whilst running touch, upset the official by questioning whether or not they were related.
Next weekend sees Hoppers travel to Chester for what is sure to be a hard-fought fixture.