Hoppers 2nd XV 56-0 Sandbach 2nd XV
The second team eased into the final of the Brooke Edgley Specialist Technical Services Cup with a comprehensive win over a spirited but ultimately outclassed Sandbach side.
In a match that was delayed by 45 minutes the visitors deserve credit for the way they kept battling whilst they made life hard for Hoppers who were, at times, profligate around the ruck. The men from Cheshire played some good stuff at times but did not have the same pace or finishing power as their hosts.
Hoppers raced out of the blocks and had scored five tries within the first half an hour. It was Sam Kendall who opened the scoring after three minutes, powering over on the left after Hoppers won an early turnover. Walker doubled the lead shortly after, a great team score as the visitors were unable to cope with the home side’s offloading.
Young’s men went over again, this time it was the pack that flexed their muscles. Matt Lambert touching down after a well executed driving maul. An equally powerful drive led to the fourth score, this time for Gargett after the backs had spun some good quality ball to the wide channel.
Shortly after it was 25-0, Marshall crossing the whitewash after the outrageously quick Jacob Browne cut a lovely line and sent him into space. Hoppers had scored five unanswered (and unusually unconverted) tries at the break and if truth be told had secured their birth in the final.
The second stanza started loosely for Hoppers but they still looked dangerous with the ball. Clitheroe smashed over for the half’s first try, his effort followed an excellent steal at the line-out by Matt Lambert. Hurst’s conversion was the closest of the lot but hit the upright.
Some ten minutes later there was a try on debut for 17 year old Tom Boys, the young winger finished on the right after some good continuity by his side. Matt Gargett then grabbed his second, taking a lovely line to slice through and score. The winger converted his own score and Hoppers led 42-0.
Kiwi Ryan Marshall then grabbed his second after Hoppers disrupted the Sandbach scrum. Gargett added another conversion as Hoppers had found their kicking boots.
The final score was the culmination of relentless Hoppers pressure, not to be outdone Jack Walker also grabbed his second try. Again the extras were added and Hoppers could be satisfied with their afternoon’s work.
The final is played, ironically at Sandbach, on Saturday May 2nd. Hoppers opponents will be Vale of Lune who upset the form book to convincingly beat Chester. It promises to be a great afternoon in Cheshire as Tom Peterson’s third team have also made their final, well done to all involved.