Draw for 2nd XV

Date: 16 December 2014

Hoppers 2nd XV 13 Broughton Park 2nd XV 13

The second team huffed and puffed their way to a pretty unfulfilling draw in their final match of 2014. The visitors produced a performance which totally belied their lowly league position. However speculation around the Green was rife that Park had significantly strengthened their squad after the weather had played havoc with the pitches in Manchester.

Given the tests that are to come in 2015, the competitiveness of the fixture will have benefitted Young’s youthful side. His tyros started sluggishly, producing a somewhat forgettable first half performance. However they totally dominated both territory and possession in the second stanza and should really have won the game.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring with a penalty but Hoppers took the lead as Frings touched down following a powerful line out drive. Broughton Park’s counter attack was proving dangerous and they replied straight away, scoring down the left hand side.

Preston were in further trouble as Broughton scored straight from the kick off with their back line exploiting some lax Hoppers defence. The conversion was short but the visitors were 13-7 ahead at half time.

Young’s men upped the tempo after the break and had the Park scrum in all sorts of bother. Ward’s penalty went wide but he successfully took the next opportunity to come his way.

Hoppers then looked certain to score but Yates appeared to get stuck in the mud and the defence managed to cover. A heavy hailstorm followed and with Hoppers dominant the Park second row was shown a yellow card for a fairly cynical infringement. Ward’s subsequent penalty tied the scores and the home side were the more likely winners. Unfortunately they could not make their advantage tell and aside from a brief melee involving several players the match concluded without significant incident.

A frustrating afternoon for Hoppers whilst Park would probably have qualified for Conference A had the same set of players even available each week. Hoppers benefit from a few weeks off and their quest for the title begins with a tough trip to Caldy on the 10th January.


Photo courtesy of Mike Craig

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