Preston Grasshoppers vs. Dudley Kingswinford – Kick Off 2.30pm
Hoppers line up for this weekend’s game against Dudley Kingswinford sees a number of changes from last week but has a similar look to the fifteen who finished the game at Harrogate last Saturday in that Ally Murray, Adam Birchall and Eddie Webster are all named in the starting line up.
Mo Mustafa and Alan Holmes both return and with James Mawdsley taking the loose head shirt, it’s all change in the Hoppers front row.
Hoppers latest International Zav Roebuck takes over from the injured Sean Taylor at full back whilst Karl Fitzpatrick will sit on the bench along with John Doney who will be hoping to make his maiden appearance for Hoppers 1st XV.
1 James Mawdsley, 2 Alan Holmes, 3 Mo Mustafa, 4 Ally Murray, 5 Andy Irving, 6 Will Lees, 7 Eddie Webster , 8 Dominic Moon (Captain), 9 Sam Kindred, 10 Lewis Allen, 11 Matt Hughes,12 Jack Ward, 13 Phil Baines,14 Adam Birchall 15. Zav Roebuck.
16 Phil Mills , 17 Danny Madden, 18, John Doney, 19 Craig Aikman, 20 Karl Fitzpatrick.
Unlike Hoppers, their opponents name an unchanged team from last week;
15. Connah Jones, 14. Liam Marshall, 13. Tom Scrivens, 12. Gareth Bown, 11. Donavan Smile, 10. Kieran Pinches, 9. Jordan Brookes, 1. Steve Blackburn, 2. Matt Humphreys, 3. Alex Francis, 4. Ed Parry – Capt. 5. Nick Murphy, 6. Danny Hawkins, 7. Luke Greenwood, 8. Peter Knight
Replacements; 16. Dan Shakespeare, 17. Tom May, 18. Sam Pedley, 19. Ashley Oyekan, 20. Ryan Smitherman.
After the ‘Topsy Turvy’ game of two halves at Harrogate last Saturday when Hoppers second half comeback just failed to snatch victory, the Coaching Staff will be looking for some sort of consistency over the whole eighty minutes in this weeks clash with bottom club Dudley Kingwinford.
The game at Claro Road produced an interesting side as along with Sean Taylor’s first try clocking up five hundred 1st XV points for the Preston Grasshoppers Full Back, the forty points total was the highest league points haul for the club in a losing league game. The previous highest was against Bradford & Bingley at Lightfoot Green on the 3rd of December 2005 when the visitors ran out winners by fifty five points to thirty four.
This Saturday’s visitors have made just three visits to Lightfoot Green in the past, all unsuccessful as were Hoppers on their visits to the Midlands ground prior to last October’s success.
The first meetings between Preston Grasshoppers and Dudley Kingswinford took place in back-to-back fixtures during 2003, the scheduled fixture at Lightfoot Green during mid January falling foul of the weather before the two games eventually took place during March. Hoppers won at home by nineteen points to five before losing narrowly by just four points the following Saturday at Heathbrook.
This Saturday’s visitors are playing in their second season since they were promoted from Midlands 1 at the end of the 2011/12 season by means of a narrow home victory over Rossendale in the National 3 play off game.
The Midlands club are currently firmly rooted to the foot of the table without a win to their name and have suffered a number of high scoring defeats. Survival in National 2 North will be a considerable task as they are already thirteen points behind Bromsgrove who currently sit in the first safe place above them in the league.
Fixtures for Hoppers other senior sides this coming weekend;
Hoppers 2 vs. Caldy 2 (Away)
Hoppers 3 vs. Widnes 2 (Home)
Hoppers 4 vs. Sale 3 (Home)
Hoppers 5 vs. Aspull 1 (Away)
Hoppers 6 vs. Bolton 4 (Home)
Hoppers Women vs. Darlington (Away)
Picture courtesy of Mike Craig