Hoppers 2nd XV 76 Wilmslow 2nd XV 5
Preston produced their best rugby since the opening day to outclass a brave Wilmslow side. Young’s men scored twelve tries as the men from Cheshire struggled to cope with the home side’s ball retention and off-loading. The pace and poise which was missing in the last couple of weeks as Hoppers regained last season’s form.
Mawdsley opened the scoring, galloping down the left wing as Hoppers made their early pressure tell. The prolific Ollie Yates then grabbed a converted try as a straightforward 8,9,15 move from a set scrum cut through the visitor’s defence.
12-0 soon became 19-0 when Doney, who was industrious and combative throughout, scored following some impressive continuity. The men from Cheshire enjoyed a brief spell of pressure which saw Hoppers facing a scrum inside their own twenty-two. Tis time Hoppers went 8,9, 14 and Rhodes Powers finished from fully fifty metres out. The home side were averaging a point a minute but maintained their momentum.
Taylor and then Doney went close before Reddick, playing at stand-off, ghosted over for a converted score. Young’s men led 33-0 before tries from Berry and the ever-impressive Webster saw then men in blue & white turn round with an impressive 45-0 lead.
The break hindered Preston’s fluidity and Wilmslow did their best to slow things down. They enjoyed their best period and their enormous prop exposed some lack lustre defence to get the men from Cheshire on the board.
Yates and Kirby then launched a blistering counter-attack which set the platform for Webster to wriggle free and score. Flynn added the conversion and his total of eight from twelve was a good return for the Hoppers legend.
Yates and Webster were then heavily involved once more, allowing lock Dave Perry to grab the score which his work rate deserved. England Counties star Webster stole the show though as he added his third try following a well executed line out drill.
Yates then crossed again before an excellent round the corner off load by debutant Kirby was mopped up nicely by Ryan Marshall. Flynn was unable to add the extras but Young was well satisfied with the 76-5 scoreline.
Hoppers remain top of the Bateman Premier League tree, with Caldy and Stockport in hot pursuit. There was a shock at the Woodlands as last season’s champions Macclesfield were humbled by a Rich Kenyon inspired Fylde Hawks. The Hawks seem intent on pushing for the title this season and social media chatter suggests they are already looking forward to their clash with Hoppers in mid-November. Young’s men meanwhile are focused on their tough trip to Altrincham next Saturday.