4ths Fight back for the first game of the season
Whilst Hoppers 1st entertained Fylde on Pitch 1 at Lightfoot green It was time for the new 4ths, having moved up to Division 4 North, to entertain Clitheroe 2nds on Pitch 2.
Captain Mortimer led out a mixed team of new faces and returning old faces as many of his regular players were assisting the 3rds. Singleton, Shadwell and Jackson to name a few.
Hoppers won the toss and chose to take the kick off, rampaging forward to get a feel for the game and the opposition! This didn’t last long.
A Clitheroe line out from half way saw them keep possession and kick over the top eagerly chased by their winger, Martin Tinny Taylor scooped up the ball on Hoppers 5m line setting off on one of his trade mark runs, But it was not to be (must have been the new boots) as he only made it to halfway before being tackled.
Scrum called and with the 4ths facing what must have been double theie pack weight in Clitheroe held their own and contested to their best. Clitheroe managed to get enough of a nudge to win the ball out to their 10 and through the hands for the winger to score in the corner.
Conversion missed 0-5
Whilst Hoppers were regrouping Clitheroe pounced with quick hands through the backs
Conversion missed 0-10
Hoppers came back at Clitheroe pushing them back to their 22 only to lose the ball and defend against a strong Clitheroe attack.
Hoppers 10 Dan Walmsley read the play well and intercepted a pass to run clear through under the posts. Unfortunately for hoppers Advantage was being played so not try.
Approaching half time Tinny brought some of his chip and chase magic to the field and clearing the defensive line, only to be brought down yet again but with support hot on his heels in the form of out of retirement Stephen Copper Lightfoot picking and going with forwards support. A couple more forwards pick and goes dragging in the Clitheroe defence the ball was shipped out wide to new winger Joel (can I play 9) who scored in the corner.
Conversion missed 5-10 hoppers fighting back.
Clitheroe came back attacking strong forcing hoppers back to defend on their 5m and could not break through.
Clitheroe knocked on and the ball kicked clear to find touch at hoppers 22.
Lineouts were not going in Hoppers favour and ball lost to Clitheroe who used their well drilled backs resulting in a try.
Conversion missed 5-15.
Last play before the half saw hoppers attacking strong with the ball shipped out wide to young Daz hill setting off at great pace only to be dragged into touch.
The second half kicked off with the same determination of the first until Clitheroe were awarded a penalty 22m in front of the posts.
Easy kick 5-17
Hoppers came back fighting taking it to Clitheroe fighting their way back up the pitch.
A scrum was called and contested well until Cory lost his footing and went down, to which Clitheroes back used to their advantage to score in the corner
Conversion missed 5-22
Hoppers refused to back down. The score line wasn’t showing the real story of the game.
Hoppers forwards were once again punching holes through Clitheroes defensive line with Cory (the barbarian) Wallace taking no prisoners being on a one man mission to sit every player down. The pack working their way up to the 5m with the white wash begging to be crossed. Will Davis took his chance to impress his girlfriend on the side-line and powered over for a great team try.
Conversion missed 10-22
Clitheroe came back with a penalty in front of the posts
Communication errors on Hoppers side gifted Clitheroe with their last try of the game in the corner yet again
Finally converted 10-32
Hoppers were not going down without a fight and show what we are capable of. Great team work and effort from the forwards and backs supporting each other and great phases of play saw Hoppers score yet under the Posts
With the final whistle approaching Hoppers finished with a never say die attitude adding another score to their tally
Conversion missed 22-32
Would Hoppers have finished their comeback if the match had an extra 10 minutes?
I think so with a tiring Clitheroe pack and hoppers on the front foot the whistle came at the right time for the visitors.
On to next week away at Bolton 3rds