Tynedale 34, Preston Grasshoppers 5: Hoppers lose disappointingly

In miserable weather with rain sweeping across the pitch, Hoppers played out a fairly miserable match on several levels.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 2:42 pm
Match action from Preston Grasshoppers clash against Wharfedale Photo: Mike Craig

In miserable weather with rain sweeping across the pitch, Hoppers played out a fairly miserable match on several levels.

Coach Paul Arnold summed up the afternoon in his post-match interview: ‘We were well beaten all over the park. Our set piece was appalling, and ourgame management was not good enough.

“They wanted the win more than us and the penalty count against us gave it to them.”

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The match started well enough with both sides testing each other out for almost 15 minutes until, having had most of the possession without any

reward, Tynedale went in front from only the second penalty of the game.

Shortly after that Hoppers centre Alex Hurst failed to get up from a tackle on his own 10m line and did not appear to be moving.

Play was stopped to allow the medical team to see to him but it quickly became apparent that things looked serious and the teams left the field for a full 20 minutes whilst he was being treated.

He was finally stretchered off to hospital, to a very sporting round of applause and shortly after he was reported to have recovered without serious injury.

The game then resumed but the Preston side did not seem to be in it. Tynedale had regrouped during the break and had returned to the field better prepared for the rest of the encounter.

Hoppers had to defend wave after wave of attacks and nothing went in their favour. Handling errors with the slippery ball, knocks-on and a penalty count longer than the team lists in the programme saw them 20-0 at half-time.

After the shortened break in which the teams remained on the pitch, things didbegin to look better as Jordan Dorrington scored wide of the uprights but Nick Gregson’s conversion attempt dropped woefully short and the meagre five points was all the visitors could take from the game.

Whilst they never gave up, Hoppers were really never in contention and despite some short spells of good handling moves on their part, their hosts mounted phase after phase along their visitors’ 5m line.

It resulted in two further tries, the second in the 80th minute, which sealed the Bonus Point win fo them with not even a crumb for Hoppers to bring away.