Preston Grasshoppers 66, Lymm 14: Hoppers hit top form

“Our most complete performance so far,” purred head coach Paul Arnold after Preston Grasshoppers made it five home wins out of five in a 10-try demolition of Lymm.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Sunday, 31st October 2021, 9:18 am

They consolidated their second place in the North Premier League, but are so motivated that Arnold said his players were “really disappointed” to concede Lymm’s second try in the final play of the game.

Up until then, Hoppers’ defence had been just as good as their rampant attacking flair, which saw their tries shared almost equally between backs and forwards.

Flanker Ben Dorrington set the ball rolling in the second minute after Lymm lost a line-out and the bonus-point fourth try was in the bag by the start of the second quarter.

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Match action from Hoppers win over Lymm (photo: Mike Craig)

The second score was a penalty try, awarded alongside a yellow card for the visitors’ full-back Scott Redfern for foul play as Sam Stott and Matt Crow combined well to create a chance in the corner.

There was no denying Stott a few minutes later as he cut a lovely line to romp under. the posts, quickly followed by an eighth try of the campaign for Matt Lamprey as Hoppers demolished the Lymm scrum on its own line.

Slick passing put Jordan Dorrington over in the corner and, with Ben Pearson adding three conversions, Hoppers were 33-0 ahead in even time.

Lymm prop Kurt Riley briefly halted the blitz as he crashed over from a tap penalty, with Redfern converting, but the next five tries fell to the hosts.

Ben Dorrington claimed his second before half-time following a line-out in the corner and, soon after the break, Stott got his eighth of the season after juggling Jake Squirrell’s chip kick.

A great move by the backs looked to have brought Ben Dorrington’s hat-trick but he was ruled to have been held up. But there was no doubt about Tyler Spence’s score, though, as he wriggled through at least four tackles for a superb individual touchdown.

Then it was back to the forwards to show their skills, with close inter-passing putting Toby Harrison over. Pearson was still banging over the conversions and took his personal tally to 19 points when he turned up out wide to finish another slick move and add the extras to his own try.

Much to the home side’s disappointment, Lymm No 8 Olli Higginson scored a last-ditch consolation try, converted by Redfern, but there was no disguising Arnold’s delight.

This was Hoppers’ sixth victory out of eight this season and extended their unbeaten run to five wins and a draw as they head to another Saturday off next weekend.

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