1st XV travel to Luctonians

Date: 10 March 2015

Team News

Garth Dew’s selection for this Saturday shows just two changes amongst the backs from those that lined up against Harrogate last week whilst the forwards remain as was.

With Sale’s John O’Donnell not available, Mark Murray re-claims the full back berth Scott Jordan moving back to his more familiar wing position and Phil Baines is replaced by Olly Yates.

The full line up reads;

1. Tom McGuinness, 2. Phil Mills, 3. Pete Altham, 4. Reece Tomlinson, 5. Jack Banks, 6. Ally Murray (Captain), 7. Andy Napier, 8. Chris Taylor, 9. Sam Kindred, 10. Lewis Allen, 11. Olly Yates, 12. Billy Woof, 13. Sam Russell, 14. Scott Jordan, 15. Mark Murray.

Replacements: 16. Jack Wilkinson, 17. Danny Madden, 18. Richard Morton, 19. Will Lees, 20. Harry Reddick.


Preston Grasshoppers make the now familiar long journey into rural Herefordshire this coming Saturday to play Luctonians at their Mortimer Park venue in an effort to secure their first double of the season.

Ally Murray Try

Ally Murray Try 2

Between them, Hoppers photographers Mike & Colin graphically captured Ally Murray’s individual try last Saturday, before he went on to deservedly receive the Man-of-the-Match award after the game.

Up until more recent visits the home side have held the upper hand, Hoppers winning by a single point on their last visit after sharing the spoils the previous season. Prior to that the home side had won the two previous encounters.

Luctonians, like Hoppers have spent this season in the wrong half of the table and only after a number of spirited performances since Christmas does the prospect of another season at Level 4 now look a distinct possibility. The final day of the season could prove decisive with Leicester Lions visiting Mortimer Park, Birmingham Solihull in Yorkshire at Otley and Hoppers travelling to play Hull who may also need the victory to survive.

Our hosts have won their last two games at home and last weeks victory at Portway was a significant success against fellow struggler’s Birmingham Solihull. Although they scored forty one points in the game, Luctonians only crossed the line twice and have loan player Louis Silver and his accurate goal kicking to thank for thirty four of those. Louis successfully kicked ten penalties, including one from within his own half during the game so this should serve as a sharp warning to Hoppers to keep their discipline next Saturday.

Hoppers will take the memory of a hard earned victory over Harrogate with them on their journey south which has given them a little breathing space between themselves and the battle to avoid relegation being fought out just below them. However they must avoid another series of defeats in the coming weeks as this may plunge them into the struggle for survival.

Having moved through the Midland’s Leagues, Luctonians are currently playing their fifth season at this level although the current term is their least successful to date and sees them languishing with Hoppers in the wrong half of the league table.

Both clubs will be looking to continue turning things around during the remaining weeks and have the pleasure of each others company once again next season.

The full record of meetings between the two clubs reads, five victories to Preston Grasshoppers whilst our hosts have recorded three wins with one fixture at Mortimer Park ending all square.

Pictures courtesy of Mike Craig & Colin Taylor.

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