Hoppers' hopes of a run in the newly revamped Powergen National Trophy came to grief at fellow Three North side, Bradford and Bingley, although the margin of victory flattered the hosts.

The Yorkshire club have, however, won three out of three in the league and look likely contenders for the top spot.

The Bees went ahead as early as the fourth minute when centre Taufahema, who was a handful in midfield sliced through to score under the posts, fly half Rhodes converting.

Hoppers' forwards, who had the edge in the tight throughout the game, then put the pressure on and, although the referee chose not to award a penalty try, despite persistent collapsing and a yellow card,

Toby Foster eventually claimed the touch down and Paul Bailey converted to level the scores in twelfth minute.

The Bees reclaimed the lead five minutes later when some fragile tackling allowed centre Dixon to score and Rhodes again converted.

Hoppers again responded with a well constructed try in the 26th minute, Olly Viney rounding off a blind-side move from halfway after good work by Rich Morton and Darren Wilson.

With the scores again tied, the hosts enjoyed a stroke of luck when Simon Worsley's attempted chip was charged down by No 8 Jacobsz who held on to the ball and ran in unopposed to make the score 19-14 at the break. Despite enjoying the bulk of possession at the start of the second half Hoppers conceded two simple penalties and in between the Bees scrambled a try by scrum half Nau.

After 65 minutes luck again took a hand when a long forward kick by the home side appeared to be heading for the in-goal area but stayed in-field and winger Simpson was adjudged to have beaten Viney to the touch down, Rhodes converting.

The fates were doing Hoppers no favours and after replacement Andy Dockray had been denied a try by the touch judge for a forward pass in the build up, the defence waited in vain for the referee's whistle for a clear knock on while flanker Spence strolled over, Rhodes again converting.

Hoppers are back in league action on Saturday with a home match against Kendal.

Final score: Bradford & Bingley 41 Preston Grasshopers 14