1st XV look for 3 in a row at Lions

Date: 03 February 2015

Ref. Claire Hodnett signals a try by Chris Taylor whilst Sam celebrates the event last week at Portway

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Leicester Lions – Kick Off 2.00pm

Team News

No surprise that Garth Dew has kept the same starting fifteen as last week for the visit to Westleigh Park, there are changes amongst the replacements however including the return of Brad Tuff and Rich Morton.

No news on the weather front as yet, but it’s been slightly less cold in the Midlands than in the North during the week, so hopefully some good news should reach us by Friday afternoon.

1. Danny Madden, 2. Phil Mills, 3. Pete Altham, 4. Jack Banks, 5. Ally Murray, 6. Andy Napier, 7. Will Lees, 8. Chris Taylor, 9. Sam Kindred, 10. Lewis Allen, 11. Phil Baines (Captain), 12. Billy Woof, 13. Sam Russell, 14. Scott Jordan, 15. Mark Murray.

Replacements: 16. Richard Morton, 17. Brad Tuff, 18. Matt Frings, 19. John O’Donnell/Zav Roebuck, 20. Harry Reddick.


Hoppers head for the Midlands once again this coming Saturday (weather permitting) to face the Leicester Lions with their confidence boosted by three victories in their last four outings moving them well away from the three relegation places which were looming large after the defeat by Broadstreet at the start of the year.

The victory over Sedgley Park was backed up by a solid performance at Portway last week where the skid marks in the turf near the home side’s line bore witness to Hoppers dominance in that area. The victory may have been even more convincing had the referee played an advantage when Chris Taylor had a great chance to score off the back of the scrum. It has to be said that from a spectators point of view, she has had two very good games officiating Hoppers matches in the Midlands this season.

Our hosts lie just one point and place above us in the league table and nothing can be learned from Lions home form. For whilst they’ve beaten current league leaders Ampthill and in so doing reversing an early season heavy defeat, they lost earlier this month to Sedgley Park before just about managing to hang on for victory over Birmingham Solihull when the visitors scored fifteen unanswered points during the second half, eventually failing by just four.

Fixtures against this coming weekend’s opponents began relatively recently when the Lions gained promotion into the National Leagues as Champions of Midlands 1 at the end of the 2004/5 season which coincided with Preston Grasshoppers promotion from North 1. Since then both clubs have occupied places in National 2 North.

The share of victories in the resulting encounters lies in Hoppers favour by ten wins to nine after the home victory at Lightfoot Green back in October last year. The visitors will be looking to gain a third win at Westleigh Park, the first coming in their very first visit when an injury time Penalty Try gave them victory by the single point in sixty nine.

Photograph courtesy of Colin Taylor

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