1st XV trip to Caldy

Date: 01 April 2014

Caldy vs. Preston Grasshoppers – KO 3.00pm

Lloyd Davies

Lloyd Davies attempts to break a tackle against The Bees last Saturday.

Team News

Once again Michael Lough has the benefit of keeping his winning squad almost unchanged for another week, with just Phil Baines missing Sam Kendall moves inside to take the vacant outside centre place whilst Matt Gargett takes up the vacant spot on the wing.

Lewis Allen drops from the bench to the Second XV for some game time with Olly Yates and Sam Kindred taking the vacant places left by Lewis and Craig Aikman.

1 Danny Madden, 2 Phil Mills, 3 Pete Altham, 4 Ally Murray, 5 Andy Irving, 6 Will Lees, 7 Kilian Wallace, 8 Sam Wallbank, 9 Sam Whyte, 10 Lloyd Davies, 11 Matt Gargett, 12 Jack Ward, 13 Sam Kendall, 14 Conor Trueman, 15 Sean Taylor.


16 Alan Holmes, 17 Olly Farley, 18 Olly Yates 19 Tom McGuinness, 20 Sam Kindred.


Hoppers will be hoping to extend their recent good run of three winning performances  this Saturday against Cheshire side Caldy after the recent continued improvement which was evident against Birmingham Solihull last time out and in so doing balance their win totals to seven both at home and on their travels. Conversely our hosts will be looking to turn round a recent poor run of results with just two wins to their credit over bottom pair Dudley Kingswinford and Bromsgrove from their last eight league outings. Hoppers will need to bear in mind the fact that Caldy have lost just four home games out of thirteen this season, and three of those losses were against promotion seeking Darlington Mowden Park, Stourbridge and Macclesfield so there’s no room for complacency if the recent winning run is to be maintained. Last week’s game against ‘The Bees’ was settled by a steadying drop goal from Lloyd Davies late on in the game. Drop goals for Hoppers are something of a rarity in recent years with Steve Kerry still holding the league record from back in September 1996 when ‘Kez’ scored four in one game against Aspatria, going on to record a season total of nine. A look through our league scoring record shows the last Hoppers players to perform the feat being Alex Zavallis-Roebuck, Mark Edwards and Nick Smith. The Inaugural senior game against today’s visitors was a pre-season warm-up fixture  at Lightfoot Green prior to the 2004/5 season. Caldy had climbed the league ladder with a succession of promotions from the depths of South Lancashire and Cheshire 3, eventually gaining promotion to N2N as Champions of North 1 in 2007. There have been thirteen league meetings between the two clubs, all in consecutive seasons since Caldy’s last promotion with our host holding the upper hand after their win at Lightfoot Green earlier this season. So Hoppers will be looking to even things up at Paton Field where they’ve been successful in half of their six previous visits. The first league meeting was at Paton Field back on the 6th of October 2007 when Hoppers turned round a narrow half time deficit to eventually run out winners by twenty points to sixteen with tries from Olly Viney and a very rare one by John Peterson. Paul Bailey was on goal kicking duties that day converting two tries and a couple of penalties. The only survivors from Hoppers squad that day still having pulled a First XV shirt on this season and the afore mentioned JP and Richard Morton. Other games being played by Hoppers Senior teams this coming Saturday include; Hoppers 2 vs. Sedgley Park 2 (Away) Hoppers 3 vs. Caldy 3 (Home) Hoppers 4 vs. Burnley 2 (Home) Hoppers 5 vs. Wigan 3 (Away) 1pm KO Hoppers 6 vs. Colne & Nelson 2 (Away) Photograph courtesy of Mike Craig

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