1st XV on the road at Chester

Date: 14 September 2016

Chester vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 3.00pm

Hoppers travel to Chester Rugby Club’s Hare Lane ground this coming Saturday hoping to continue their 100% record on the road this season and put behind them last Saturday’s home defeat to one of this season’s favourites for promotion, Sedgley Park.

Hoppers will want to change the trend of meetings between the two clubs since Chester’s promotion to National 2. During this period the Cheshire side have won all six contests but the Hoppers players will take with them memories of the last twenty minutes from last weeks encounter with ‘The Tigers’. Apart from a short period of play when they conceded three converted tries during the first half Hoppers looked at least a match for their opponents.

Our opponents on Saturday have lost both their opening games, last week to local rivals Caldy who in almost defeating Sedgley Park the previous week, look to be ones to keep an eye out for this season. On the opening Saturday, Chester travelled to National 2 North newcomers Scunthorpe and lost narrowly by just a couple of points. So taking into consideration Chester’s two previous opponents being a newly promoted side full of confidence and local rivals who all but beat one of the League favourites last Saturday, Hoppers will have a job on their hands to reverse the recent trend of results against their Cheshire hosts.

Good news from last week, that Phil Mills was discharged from Hospital on Saturday evening after receiving what looked like a serious injury early in the second half during the game against Sedgley Park. All at Hoppers wish him all the very best and a full recovery.

Before Chester’s promotion to National 2 North, the two teams last met in competitive action during Hoppers short stay in North 1 back on the 5th of February 2005 when a relatively comfortable away victory was achieved by twenty points to five completing the double that season for Hoppers. Since then a couple of pre-season ‘training’ fixtures have taken place, both at Chester’s ground with honours shared until the current series of League games.

Fixtures between the two clubs go back just over fifty years when the inaugural game took place at our Lea ground on the 23rd of October 1965 where Hoppers won by a single point in a game of thirty three. All told there have been twenty nine meetings between the two clubs with our opponents winning eighteen to eleven by ourselves. Add to this a cancelled game from Good Friday 1989 plus a couple of pre-season games and you have the full picture.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Craig – Two-try Sam Gale heads for the line last Saturday

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