Hope Valley mark rugby return with victory
Rugby is back. At last.
After a Covid-enforced break of 543 days, Hope Valley finally returned to action this weekend.
The club hosted Tupton RUFC in a pre-season friendly at Hope Sports Club.
It may not have been worth the wait for the players who have missed their rugby, but at least Hope valley returned with a 27-12 victory.
Both teams struggled early on to brush off the rust which comes from such a long period of inactivity.
They also found it hard to cope with the rather damp conditions that greeted them on the field.
It was perhaps no surprise that it took 32 minutes for the first points to be scored.
These came for the hosts courtesy of a Dave Ryder penalty.
After the break Valley struck early.
Replacement hooker Kristian Williams scored from a superb driven lineout to extend the hosts’ advantage.
This score clearly rattled the visitors who went on to earn both a yellow and a red card.
This allowed the hosts to score further tries.
Steve West marked his debut by touching down before Jae Rodgers and Jake Oldridge also got in on the act.
As both teams tired, Tupton scored two deserved consolation tries.However, it was a delighted Valley squad who celebrated a 27-12 win at a very welcome final whistle.
Valley will now have a week off to recover before beginning their league campaign with a home game against Old Bedians Second XV at Hope Sports Club on Saturday, September 4.
Kick off will be at 3pm.