PGRFC 2nd XV vs Birkenhead Park 2nd XV

Date: 17 April 2014

Hoppers 2nd XV 107 Birkenhead Park 2nd XV 3

The second team rounded off the preliminary ladder of the Bateman Premier League with a ruthless 17 try demolition of Birkenhead Park at Lightfoot Green. The visitors arrived in Preston and duly announced that they were unable to field a competent front row and their struggle to make the numbers was an ominous sign that they were in for a long afternoon. Whilst Hoppers’ scrum has been the platform for much of their success this season, the hosts were not unduly disrupted by knowing that they could not push when it came to scrummaging.

Credit should go to Park who were game until the final whistle but the reality was that they were outclassed by a Hoppers side who broke the gain line at will. Park could not cope with the footwork and offloading of Young’s side and they only managed to gain a foothold in Hoppers territory on a handful of occasions. Their sole reward on a chastening afternoon was a penalty awarded for some lax Hoppers play.

Ollie Yates opened the scoring and helped himself to a hat trick on an afternoon when his lines of running were a constant menace. Kiwi Ryan Marshall went one better and helped himself to four scores in a fine display of finishing.

Meanwhile Banks, Murray, Warlock, Mabaya, Tuff, Proctor and Moulding all helped themselves to tries whilst Doney and Murphy claimed braces each.

The sprinkling of spectators were treated to some fine handling and interplay between backs and forwards although the match was probably less of a spectacle than the excellent victory over Fylde form a fortnight ago.

The league now splits into two conferences (A&B) and Hoppers are determined to go one better than last season when they lost the A title on points difference to Macclesfield. Their reward for winning their thirteen games and topping the preliminary ladder is another visit from local rivals Fylde next Saturday. Also in the mix are Macclesfield, Sedgley Park, Stockport, Caldy and Sale and Team Manager will provide a brief summary of the sides in a preview article this week.

Young’s men know that they face twelve exceptionally hard fixtures if they are to regain the trophy but the mood in the camp is extremely positive. Between now and next Saturday the squad shall refocus and regroup but deserve credit for achieving their objective of remaining unbeaten throughout the preliminary set of fixtures.

@Jebbster1975 @JY75

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