Hoppers 2nd XV 83 Sandbach 2nd XV 19
The second team secured another emphatic victory with an entertaining performance against a spirited Sandbach side. The visitors travelled without a recognised hooker and having to kick off with uncontested scrums appeared to take the early wind out the Hoppers sails.
Despite a dominant start it was a full 18 minutes until the home side scored when some strong running by Ben Geatches created the opening for Ryan Marshall.
Sandbach were then reduced to 14 after a dangerous tackle on Proctor. The resultant line out saw Frings hit a great line before putting Sam Russell over for his first score in the blue and white. Hurst added the extras and Preston led 12-0.
Sandbach then reduced the arrears with a converted score of their own. Poor execution in the Hoppers midfield saw the visitors scoop up a loose ball to score on the left.
Young’s men hit straight back as Wallace scored from a well driven line out. Just five minutes later and Russell put Gargett over for another score which Hurst duly converted. The skipper then skilfully picked up a low pass to score a try of his own but it was Proctor who took the plaudits with the turnover and barnstorming run down the right.
Half time and Hoppers led 31-7 but it wasn’t long into the second period that Marshall scooted over from the base of a ruck. Hurst supplied the conversion.
With the Sandbach dam well and truly breached Proctor & Frings became increasingly prominent in the loose. Robinson bagged his first score after a well executed cross field kick by Murray.
Credit to the visitors as they didn’t give up and they created their second score, weight of numbers saw their stand off score on the right. Hoppers led 43-12 but that soon became fifty when Murray provided another excellent assist. The full back’s subtle hands put Gargett through a cute gap to score under the posts.
Robinson then produced a great turnover before breaking down the right flank and exchanging passes with Proctor before touching town for another seven pointer.
The returning Jack Wilkinson then hit a cracking line after some soft hands by Frings. Hurst added another conversion and it seemed as though Hoppers were scoring at will. Two minutes later Gargett produced a scorching finish from fully fifty metres out and Hoppers were 69-12 to the good.
The visitors fought back gamely and their stand-off exploited a gap in the Hoppers defence for a converted score.
Cameron Robinson had the final say, scoring his third and tries of the afternoon. Rhodes-Powers, Wardle, Frings and Mabaya were all prominent in the build up as Hoppers finished strongly.
Overall a satisfying performance for Hoppers as they enter a big two weeks with games against old foes Macclesfied and Fylde.