Hoppers Ladies 7s Success

Date: 20 June 2017

Hoppers Ladies have qualified for the RFU 24/7 regional finals at West Park, Leeds as a result of winning the annual Skofics 7s.

By Ladies coach Steve Tiernan.

Albeit they only had to beat UCLAN twice to win the competition, it’s a win that has not only put us through to the Regional 7s finals in July, but has really lifted the spirits around the squad.

Prior to Skofics, both Hoppers and UCLAN participated in a 7s training session, led by our own 7s Cypriot International, Alex Zavallis-Roebuck, in preparation for the following weekend’s games. It was obvious early on that the ladies had underestimated the pace of the game but with some great tips and hints from Zav, the ladies went into the tournament confident that they could give a real good account of themselves. The Skofics games went well and with some great performances from Emily Stirzacker, Becky Ingham, Sarah Barker, Kelly Singleton, Mollie Paling, Katy Ingham, Rachel Wylie and the returning Olivia Jack, Hoppers finished the day looking like a seasoned 7s side, brimming with confidence.

The girls caught the 7s ‘bug’ so to speak and immediately agreed to participate in the Chester7s, which took part last weekend against 15 other Ladies sides from across the country. The event was well attended with both men’s and Ladies sides being well represented and Hoppers Ladies certainly stood up early on to be seen as serious contenders. With a squad of only 8 players behind her, Mollie Paling led Hoppers through the group stage undefeated against Ashfield Ladies (Nottingham), Bangor Uni (Wales) and Bonts Ladies (Wales) and into a quarter final stages against Bridgefield Ladies which proved to be a very tough encounter in the scorching heat. Winning that game finally took its toll on the squad and with an immediate Semi-Final to play against a well-rested Chester side, the players just hadn’t enough in the tank to play with the intensity they wanted too. Chester ran out eventual winners but the Hoppers ladies showed nothing but fight and competed for everything until the final whistle.

Nobody can take anything away from the girls that played at Chester as the performances of and character shown by Sarah Barker, Christina Tully, Kate McMullan, Sarah Boaler, Kira Hope-Baines, Sophie Williamson, Becky Ingham, Lisa-Marie Jones and Captain Mollie Paling were simply outstanding.

Hoppers Ladies now continue their 7s journey to Leeds, where they will compete in the Northern Regional RFU 24/7 finals at West Park for the chance to progress to the national finals at Bath Rugby.

Up the Hoppers!

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