The games between Fylde and Hoppers are always tense games regardless of which team or age group is participating, with games being viciously contested on the match, often against players whom are friends off the pitch. The relationship between both clubs would be described as ‘vicious rivals and great friends’.
Both team had strong squads available and with the weather conditions perfect for rugby, it was going to be a match to watch.
Hoppers kicked off for the Hawks to receive however, a handling error resulted in Hoppers retaining the ball and within one minute striking the first try of the game. The conversion was made. One minute in and the Hawks are 7 down, not the start the they really needed. Over the next 12 minutes the Hawks conceded far too many penalties and with Hoppers keeping the pressure on the Hawks defence, Hoppers again crossed the try line on the left-hand side. The conversion was missed. Hoppers 12 – 0 Hawks.
The Hoppers clearly had a plan to drive everything through there strong forwards although the Hawks defence whilst trying to create an opportunity to attack. 25 minutes in and Tom Beresford crossed the line with Danny Carlton making the conversion count. At the restart, Hoppers made a handling error which allowed the pacey Dexter Eaves to cross the try line. Danny Carlton making the conversion count again.
The Hawks had now started to play in the manor to which we can, with the forwards working extremely hard in a physical game to make progress up the field and Danny Carlton directing proceedings, making space for the Hawks backs to use there pace to break the Hoppers defensive line. 35 minutes in and Ben Gregory breached the Hoppers defence under the sticks. Danny Carlton converted. Hoppers 12 – 21 Hawks.
HT Hoppers 12 – 21 Hawks.
The second half continued to be played at the pace and intensively of the first half although Torky received a yellow card for a knock on, whilst Hoppers were attacking in the Hawks 5 metre channel.
Hoppers then scored a total of four tries and made conversions on the 47th, 54th, 60th and 65th minute of the game, with the Hawks not responding. With 15 minutes remaining, the score as Hoppers 40 – 21 Hawks.
Over the remaining 15 minutes the Hawks took charge of the game with the Hoppers seeing a second player receive a yellow card. This allowed the attacking Jake Foster to cross the try line on the 73rd minute. Danny Carlton converted. Hoppers then received a third yellow card which resulted in the Hoppers working as a defensive unit solely. On the 77th minute, Danny Carlton crossed the white line but missed the conversion, making the final score Hoppers 40 – 33 Hawks.
FT Hoppers 40 – 33 Hawks.
Whilst one yellow card was given to a Hawks player and three to Hoppers, this really didn’t reflect on the game, which was played at speed for the full 80 minutes, with lots of talent on show from both teams.
Hoppers received a single bonus point for the tries scored, with the Hawks receiving 2 bonus points for tries scored and losing within 7 points of the winning score.
Hoppers deserved the win and will have the bragging rights until the next encounter at Fylde on 18th November 2017.
Andy Stevens, Ben Gregory, Alex Preston, Karl Capstick, Conner Scrivens, Tom Beresford, Gregor Aitken (C), James Torkington, Danny Carlton, Ciaran Johnson, Sam Fisher, Dan Jones, Jake Foster, Dexter Eaves, Matthew Bargh, John Oldland, Jake Christmann, Josh Melvin
Dan Orwin, Ian Pearson, Chloe.
MOM: Danny Carlton