Hoppers 3rd XV 38-13 Warrington 2nd XV
The 3rd XV progressed through to the next round of the BEST Jug courtesy of an entertaining victory over Warrington 2nd XV.
Due to a number of senior players out through injury, the 3rds took to the field with somewhat of a youthful look about them and look to set about making the afternoon a tiring one for the visitors. They wasted little time and opened the scoring thanks to good hands down the blindside to release Horrocks. The winger racing over from 30 yards after a break by young Adam Saleh. The conversion successful.
Warrington responded with a try of their own shortly after with Hoppers making the cardinal sin of not playing to the whistle following a fumble in the Warrington midfield. With many Preston players awaiting the referee’s intervention, the visitors scored out wide with the kick unsuccessful.
However, this didn’t deter the 3rds and they extended their lead following a timely interception in broken field. Many commentators on social media questioned the inclusion of Dunne on the wing but the furry veteran showed he still has some gas left in the tank as he made good ground before releasing flanker Proctor. The youngster managed to touchdown under the sticks to make life easier for Peterson, who converted to put Hoppers 14-5 to the good.
The visitors added a penalty before Dunne finished off out wide following some organised, abrasive work by the Hoppers pack to put the home side 21-8 up at the turnaround.
Warrington started the second period in much hungrier fashion than their hosts and scored within minutes of the restart, the home side guilty of some lax work at the breakdown. The conversion was unsuccessful but the men from Cheshire were right back in the contest. After some stern words from captain Peterson under the sticks, Hoppers upped their game to effectively put the cup tie to bed.
With the scrum now uncontested, the home side rejigged their back row to allow Proctor to use his pace from the base of the scrum. It worked a treat and thanks to good support from Mollinga,
Hoppers scored through lively scrum half Ben Lock. This time the kick time was unsuccessful. At this point the 3rds looked dangerous every time they shipped the ball wide and Taylor and a fine solo effort from 40 yards from hooker Saleh concluded the scoring to make it 38-13.
On his 21st birthday, Marcus Mollinga won the coveted Man of the Match award. The back rower was a threat with ball in hand, a nuisance at the break down and tackled all day long (including the referee on one occasion). It’s back to league action next week with Macclesfield 3rds making the trip to Lightfoot Green.
Line up – Lightfoot, Saleh, Andrews, Ringrose, Lambert, Mollinga, Proctor, George, Lock, Peterson, Dunne, Haworth, Taylor, Horrocks, Deakin.
Subs – Fish, Hardman, Baines.