Hope Valley 1sts started the new season in style as they marked their return to Division 4 East with an 81-7 home win over Sockport 3rds.
Led by Matt Keeley in the injury-enforced absence of club captain Ben Somerton, Valley’s preparations were further hampered when fly half Dave Ryder was injured in the pre-match warm-up and John Eyre went off after a nasty cut.
From the disputed penalty from that incident, Stockport scored a converted try.
Jake Oldridge’s quick-thinking from a tap penalty saw him cross for an unconverted score and Matt Keeley’s powerful run led to a second.
The lead was soon extended with further tries from Kristian Williams, George Hallam and Gethin Evans. Two conversions from Jake Oldridge led to a half-time 29-7 advantage.
In the second half Jake Boak was the first to score. Hallam and Keeley added their second tries, Oldridge completed a hat-trick and Rory Williams and Steve Rawson scored. Aaron Handley also went over on his debut.