Hoppers Ladies comfortably win at home to Altrincham & Kersal

Date: 16 November 2017

Nearing the half-way point of the season, Hoppers Ladies find themselves comfortably in the top three, five points behind leaders Didsbury who host the girls from Lightfoot lane next in the league campaign. However, with a great win at home against the ladies from Altrincham & Kersal and a tasty away fixture in the cup this weekend down at Birkenhead, Hoppers are hoping to create a sustained momentum, to get them even closer to that top spot.

By Steve Tiernan

Hoppers welcomed the girls from south Manchester and although they’ve had some inconsistent results, the girls from Lightfoot Green where not going to let that detract them from putting on a focused and determined performance. With information gathered from our observers who watched their previous game against leaders Didsbury, Hoppers where fully aware of the dangers Altrincham posed and set out to counter those threats and dominate early, which they did to perfection however, the start stop nature of the early officiating did hamper both teams from getting into some flow.

With that in mind, Hoppers adapted to it better and broke the deadlock with some fantastic work out wide from Georgia Wilson, who put Rachel Dennison in for a wonderful opening try, duly converted by Alison Taberner to put Hoppers ahead 7-0. Altrincham pushed from the restart but the Hoppers defence stood firm, with some fantastic tackling from Back Rows Stephanie Gray and Mollie Paling who snuffed out the opposition’s threat early forcing errors to regain possession. With the game now beginning to be dominated by Hoppers, the backs carved open opportunities off solid forward ball, distributed well through Becky Ingham and Kady Hall at 9 and 10 respectively. Soon after the first try, Sarah Lovejoy scored after a trademark line break which attracted 3 defenders, who couldn’t stop her powering over. Alison again duly converted and the score was 14-0. With Hoppers becoming more dominant, Georgia Wilson danced over out wide soon after the restart, running all the way in to place right under the sticks unopposed. With the conversion good, Hoppers finished the half, comfortably 21-0 ahead.

The second half continued as the first one finished with Hoppers dominant however, they remained focused and wary of Altrincham’s obvious threats. With a second try from Lovejoy and Wilson, both converted, Hoppers led 35-0 soon after half time. To Altrincham’s credit, they kept coming, looking for that elusive try and probed the Hoppers defence hard around the fringes. However, Hoppers stood firm and when winger Dawn Jones, crossed the line to make to score to make it 40-0, it was time to bring on the changes with debutants, Rosanna Fane and Rachel Martin-Grey making their first ever appearances on a rugby pitch. With Alison’s golden boots still shining, the conversion was hit home and Hoppers led 42-0.

The Game continued with two further tries from Wilson and Charley Brunton, both converted by Kady Hall to give Hoppers a 57-0 lead with minutes to go. Altrincham where not over yet and pressed hard into the Hoppers 5m line. With a 5m scrum being won by Hoppers in the dying seconds, the ball from the base seemed to create some confusion and Altrincham finally got their just reward and took advantage of a rare error in the Hoppers defence to score the elusive try. With the conversion good, the final whistle went and Hoppers won 57-7.

This week, Hoppers travel to Birkenhead in the next round of the Cup in what should be a thrilling game.

Up the Hoppers!

Starting XV: Klaudia Rzepecka, Kelly Singleton, Sarah Boaler, Kira Hope-Baines, Helen Blackburn, Emma Pooley, Stephanie Gray, Mollie Paling, Becky Ingham, Kady Hall, Dawn Jones, Sarah Lovejoy, Georgia Wilson, Rachel Dennison, Alison Taberner.

Replacements: Olivia Jack, Charley Brunton, Rachel Martin-Grey, Rosanna Fane, Sophie Williamson.

Forward of the Match award: Mollie Paling

Back of the Match award: Rachel Dennison

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