Hoppers moved up to second place in Conference A with a twelve try demolition of Chester. The win sees them keep in touch with leaders and league favourites Sedgley Park although Hoppers go into their final six games brimming with confidence.
Upon arriving at Chester it was evident that their hosts had undergone a difficult week which saw a number of their selected side withdraw at short notice. As a result Hoppers lent their hosts Oga Mabaya and Matt Conway in order for a fifteen a side contest to go ahead.
Hoppers came racing out of the blocks and full-back Karl Fitzpatrick opened the scoring after two minutes. Smith converted and Hoppers led 7-0. Winger Matt Hughes then added a brace in quick succession with Hoppers’ ball retention and Fitzpatrick’s ability to offload in the tackle a notable feature.
Chester stuck to their task and an intercept try saw Hoppers lead 21-7, but Hoppers regained control and Irving burrowed over from a line-out drive. Connor Murphy then powered over from 30 metres before Purnell scored a fine try after breaking from the base. Tom Smith, who added eight conversions in all added the extras on each occasion.
Alex Austin then added another before Mabaya, who enjoyed a fine game, scored a good individual try for his adopted team. At half time Hoppers led 47-12 and the second half would see Lough’s men cross the whitewash a further five times. Flynn, who enjoyed a typically robust match, picked a cracking line from an inside ball for the first score of the half. Baines scored shortly after and the men from Lightfoot Lane were 59-12 in front. At one point Hoppers seemed destined for a century of points but Chester did their best to disrupt Hoppers and added another try of their own. Austin soon restored order, grabbing his second whilst Connor Murphy matched his back row partner’s feat soon after.
Captain Matt Charters bagged the final try, finishing off some good phase play which saw Hoppers off-loading at will. Charters converted his own try and the final score was 78-17.
The second team have no fixture next week and will be casting half an eye on Caldy’s trip to Sedgley Park in the hope that the men from the Wirral can do them a favour.
All 2nd XV fixtures, both home and away, kick off at 3pm for the rest of the season unless otherwise stated.