1st XV team news for Stockport game

Date: 24 September 2014

Everyone holds their breath, whilst Fitz’ can’t even bear to look!

Stockport vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 3.00pm


Garth Dew’s selection for the trip to Cheshire shows little change from last Saturdays squad of twenty.

Tom Hurst gets a start at thirteen with ‘Skipper’ Baines moving to the wing position and Lewis Allen moving to fly-half to cover the unavailable Lloyd Davies.

In the forwards Phil Mills starts this week with Brad Tuff moving to the bench where Kilian Wallace replaces Rich Morton. Ollie Carter will hope to make his debut from the bench.

1 Danny Madden, 2 Phil Mills, 3 Pete Altham, 4 Reece Tomlinson, 5 Ally Murray, 6 Will Lees, 7 Jack Walker, 8 Chris Taylor, 9 Sam Kindred, 10 Lewis Allen,11 Sam Kendall,12 Jack Ward, 13 Tom Hurst, 14 Phil Baines (Captain), 15 John Embelton


16 Kilian Wallace, 17 Andy Irving, 18 Brad Tuff, 19 Sam Whyte, 20 Ollie Carter


Preston Grasshoppers make one of their shortest journey’s of the season this coming Saturday with a visit to Headlands Road in Bramhall which is the home of newly promoted Stockport Rugby Club.

The visitors will be hoping to back up last week’s win over another of the promoted clubs when a much better second half performance left the visitors pointless during that period. Ironically Hoppers twenty two unanswered points nearly matched the visitors feat against Birmingham Solihull the previous week.

On our last visit to The Memorial Ground in a game which Dominic Moon scored a hat trick of tries for Hoppers and Zav was playing for Stockport, the home side certainly gave us a run for our money when only an injury time penalty kick converted by Sean Taylor saved the visitors blushes after being pegged back from an big early lead. Sean Taylor accumalated twenty eight of Hoppers points whilst Alex converted three of Stockport’s tries plus a drop goal and penalty kick. The aggregate score of ninety five points in that game comes very close to a Hoppers league record.

The same fixture in the previous season was a notable one for Hoppers with Sean Long making a surprise debut for the visitors along with scoring the opening try.

Whilst Stockport’s first two games of their second visit to National 2 North got them off to a disastrous start, last week saw something of a recovery albeit another defeat this time at the hands of Birmingham Solihull.

Our hosts regained their position at Level 4 rugby after just one season away after gaining promotion via a play-off with a comprehensive victory over Midlands 1 runners up Sutton Coldfield and will be hoping to stay at this level longer than their initial two season stay.

Whilst the name Stockport is a fairly new one on Hoppers long list of opponents, some of our older members will recall visiting the same venue when the Cheshire club played there under the name of Davenport before they metamorphosed into Stockport in 1992.

Hoppers and Davenport first meeting was over forty years ago on the 13th of February 1971 at the Bramhall ground when the home team came up with a narrow victory fourteen points to eight after a scoreless first half.

There have been twenty-five meetings between the ‘three’ clubs, Hoppers winning eighteen, Davenport six and Stockport none with one ending in a three all draw. After the first game, fixtures were kept every year until the last meeting between Hoppers and Davenport on the 17th of March 1990 at Lightfoot Green when the visitors replaced the scheduled opponents Wigan. We should have met once more, during the following month, but a Lancashire Cup Semi Final against LSH looks to have taken precedence.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Craig.

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