Hoppers 2nd XV 48-12 Stockport 2nd XV
The second team overcame adverse weather and late changes to their match day squad to record a fine win against a committed but ultimately well beaten Stockport side. Young’s men played some good rugby on a heavy pitch whilst their opponents defended well in addition to showing good spirit in attack.
Hoppers gave debuts to 17 year old scrum half Josh Todd and the newly arrived Lloyd Davies who has moved to the area from Wharfedale. Additionally there was another forty minute outing for club captain John Peterson who continues his rehabilitation from injury. Davies played stand-off and was an assured presence in testing conditions whilst his booming left foot put the Hoppers pack into good positions.
It was Davies’ searching kick which caught the Stockport full-back off guard and allowed the consistently excellent Ryan Marshall to score the first of what would be a twenty three minute hat trick. Farley added the conversion and Hoppers were 7-0 to the good.
Hoppers had the Stockport pack under pressure and the returning Luke Proctor went close. Young’s men kept their foot on the gas and a turnover saw Marshall stand up the right winger and the full-back for a sparkling finish.
Farley’s kick hit the upright and Marshall’s trio was completed after robust work from Proctor and Australia bound James Mawdsley. Davies put in an excellent cross field kick which was fielded by man of the match Truman who showed good awareness to feed the kiwi.
Truman then grabbed a try of his own after smartly intercepting a Stockport pass on his own twenty two. The young winger, who also defended excellently all afternoon, sprinted clear, keeping the full-back at a safe distance. This time Farley added the extras and the home side were 24-0 ahead.
Young’s men maintained their dominance and Todd was rewarded with a debut try when he sniped over from close range at the base of an attacking ruck. Stockport managed to exert a bit of their own pressure but Hoppers turned round with a healthy 29-0 lead.
Truman grabbed his second after lock Dave Perry intercepted a stray pass. The Irishman showed good pace before feeding Davies, whose excellent cut out pass put Reddick through a big gap, giving him time to feed Truman. Farley grabbed the extra two points and Hoppers led by thirty six clear points.
Credit to the visitors whose pack put in some robust work which led to a try in the right corner. Young’s men hit straight back with some good interplay by the pack, Davies and Todd. Perry went from provider to scorer as he charged over on the right.
Hoppers then fell foul of the referee as a succession of decisions went against him. The home side’s bewilderment turned to frustration as Stockport recycled quickly to score on the right. The conversion was good but they were still 41-12 behind.
Preston, and in particular Davies and Truman had the last word. The former Wharfedale man’s booming punt pinned the visitors down. Hoppers managed to turn the ball over, before good work by Banks and Madden set up Truman who finished cheekily to complete his own hat trick.
An encouraging performance by Young’s men, particularly after last week’s frustration. Having tweaked their old game plan it was good to see the side playing with confidence again. Given the conditions it was good to see both wingers grabbing hat tricks and highlighted their attacking intent. Davies meanwhile looks an excellent acquisition and the club welcomes another young talent to Lightfoot Green.
Next Saturday sees the squad travel to Heywood Road to face Sale FC. Hoppers won comfortably at the iconic venue in the Autumn and will be looking for a similar performance. All being well they will make up some ground on the leaders as Macclesfield and Sedgely Tigers clash in Cheshire.