HOYLAKE extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches in the fourth round of the Powergen Vase played at Melrose Avenue, beating a strong Didsbury TOC H side in convincing fashion while guaranteeing their place in the final 32 of the national competition.
After 10 minutes, Hoylake were deep in the Didsbury 22. Some resolute tackling stopped the big Hoylake forwards just short of the line on three occasions before the ball was eventually spun out.
Fly-half Simon Robinson gathered the ball and popped an inside ball to supporting back-rower Rob Kurton and from the ensuing ruck, scrum-half James Morris spotted a gap and plunged over the line from short range. Robinson added the extras to give Hoylake an early 7-0 advantage.
Didsbury came straight back at their hosts, kicking a penalty to bring the scores to 7-3 but the Hoylake forward domination ensured that the visitors were not given another opportunity to add to their tally.
Quickly recycled ball was spun out by Morris on the halfway line. The ball was released to Nick McCormack and Rich Young in the centres by Robinson.
Young then passed in one movement to his brother Stephen who hit the line at pace from full-back. He dummied Kevin Jones in support outside him while stepping inside the covering defenders. His electric pace took him the remaining 30 metres to the line. Robinson again added the extras to give Hoylake some breathing space.
With some 15 minutes remaining in the half, the Hoy-lake forwards were at it again.
Dan Miller and Martin Williams took the ball on and the ensuing ruck was cleared out. Morris opted for the short side and found prop Steve Butterworth who popped to Ben Flint. The winger had Kurton in support and the number eight just managed to ground the ball with a defender holding onto his ankles.
At 19-3, the home side was looking dominant and had it not been for some loose handling, they would have surely extended their lead.
The second period began in similar fashion with the Hoylake front five exerting considerable pressure on their counterparts. The back row of Ashcroft, Williams and Kurton were well in the ascendancy. Andy Fielding was again dominating the line-outs, ensuring a steady flow of possession for the increasingly impressive backs.
Dan Gleeson came on to replace Phil James in the second-row before Robinson added three points extending the lead to 22-3. However, it wasn't until the final 10 minutes when Hoylake's pressure finally told.
McCormack made a scintillating break before sending Jones to the line from 30 metres, extending the home side's lead to 27-3.
Straight from the kick-off, Miller took the ball on as did Butterworth, Gleeson then Mark Wylie. Eventually, the Didsbury defence buckled as Morris flyhacked the ball through, just beating Jones to the ball to score his second of the match.
The final try of the match was scored by captain Richard Young who ignored a four-man overlap but still had the pace and power to score under the posts from 20 metres. Robinson converted to make the final score 39-3.
Man of the match went to Rich Young on a day when all 16 players contributed to a great team performance.
Next week Hoylake entertain Dukinfield in the league while one eye will certainly be on the midweek draw for the fifth round of the Powergen Vase.