Burnage 2nd XV 12 Hoppers 2nd XV 53
Hoppers maintained their position as early pacesetters in the Bateman Premier League with a well deserved win over Burnage.
Young’s youngsters played some attractive rugby although their hosts’ aggression and scrambling defence meant that the men from Lightfoot Green had to fight hard for their win.
Hoppers also had to overcome the loss of three backs in ten first half minutes so this had an understandable affect on the continuity of their play. Firstly Truman damaged his hamstring before Sam Kendall broke his ulna and radius after being bundled into touch. To make matters worse, Sam Whyte twisted his ankle whilst his name sake was receiving treatment.
Tries from Farley, Yates, Wallbank and Tuff saw Preston lead 24-0 at half time. The highlight of the half being the pace and energy of youngsters Moulding, Webster and Lees. Marshalled well by Mark Murray, Hoppers controlled possession whilst dominating the set piece. However some sloppy play just after the break saw the Burnage number eight intercept and gallop home from thirty metres.
Hoppers hit back with tries from Smith, Webster and Mabaya to take the lead out to 41-7. The Preston forwards began to make big holes up the middle as the Burnage pack began to tire.
Young’s men wrapped things up with two tries from Ben Rhodes-Powers, the first a fine finish after a set backs move and the second an outstanding finish after great play from the promising Moulding.
Burnage scored a late consolation which disappointed Young at the end but Hoppers have maintained their momentum in readiness for their clash with old rivals Sedgley Tigers at Lightfoot Green this Saturday.