Preston Grasshoppers 24-26
Sheffield made it seven wins in a row with a thrilling 26-24 victory over Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green.</h3?
Sheffield came into the game in fine form, sitting third in the English National League Two North, facing a Hoppers side yet to win at home this season.
Starting strongly, the hosts found themselves ahead in the sixth minute when Tyler Spence powered forward from a tap penalty before off-loading to Jacob Browne who found the corner.
Will Hunt failed to add the extras.
Sheffield’s response came just seven minutes later. Despite good line defence on the edge of their 22, a lapse in concentration allowed scrum-half Elliott Fisher to score and convert for the visitors.
The lead changed hands again in the 23rd minute. Another tap penalty from Hoppers allowed them to power to the five-yard line. Despite strong resistance, Rory Brand crossed over and Hunt’s conversion was on target this time.
Sheffield regained the lead from a failed Hoppers line-out. The ball was chipped forward and a mix-up in the host’s defence allowed Christian Hooper to finish. Fisher’s conversion gave the visitors a slender advantage at the break.
Shortly after the restart, Sheffield extended their lead when Fisher was able to wriggle through the Hopper’s defence for his second of the afternoon.
Sheffield looked to turn the screw but the home side was next to strike, another tap penalty this time on the five-yard line allowed Ben Dorrington to score (pictured above).
The next try was crucial and it came for the visitors, Fisher this time turning provider as his clever off-load allowed Ryan Burrows to crash over for the bonus point, but Fisher couldn’t convert.
The game needed some late drama and it came in the 80th minute.
Another tap penalty allowed Hoppers to break and a superb kick from Hunt found Spence who finished superbly in the corner to give them a bonus point of their own.
The extras would’ve made it level but Hunt’s kick was just shy of the uprights.
Sheffield will look to extend their winning run when they host strugglers Billingham next Saturday.
For Hoppers it’s what could’ve been as their wait for a home win goes on.
Report by Tom Greenwood, pictures by Mike Craig