Valley battle bravely in defeat to the Spartans

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The ten men of Hope Valley battled bravely but went down to a heavy 51-7 defeat to the Village Spartans.

The early signs didn’t look good for Valley as Spartans’ pre-match warm-up showed they were clearly a very well-drilled side.

And so it proved as the Spartans played the game at pace and were rewarded for an excellent first half performance.

Spartans’s man-of-the-match centre was outstanding for his side with almost a point-per-minute lead at the interval.

Whilst Valley started the second half in committed fashion, with Kristian Williams and Andy Woodall putting in a huge defensive effort, the outlook was bleak.

Matt Keeley was lost to injury and Matt Johnson struggled.

But one thing Valley have never lacked is determination and this was rewarded with the first score of the second half as Matt Johnson chased his own clever kick through to touch down for a try, converted by Ben Somerton.

This was as good as it got for Valley, though, despite Andy Woodall showing the energy of a player half his age to provide an amazing try-saving tackle.

Spartans ran in three more scores to finish comfortable winners and cement the second placed position in the league.

Try: Johnson. Conversion: Somerton.

The Hope Valley Radio Show Man of the Match Award was again shared.

“It’s getting a bit predictable but our token Kiwi, Kristian Williams, put in another all-action performance, this time in the scrum half role, while Andy Woodall rolled back the years to the 1890s... sorry, 1980s of his youth with a committed defensive display,” said a Hope Valley club spokesman.

There’s no game for Hope Valley on Saturday.

Valley travel to face Marple in a rearranged league fixture (kick-off 3pm) on Bank Holiday Easter Monday.