The second team travel to reigning champions Macclesfield on Saturday in their penultimate Conference A fixture of the season. Hoppers’ campaign started out with a dramatic 15-13 win against the men from Cheshire all the way back in early September. Hoppers overcame their hosts again in January in an equally tense affair when, without a recognised hooker and a host of injuries they triumphed by a single point.
Macclesfield represent formidable opposition and they still have a mathmatical chance of retaining their Bateman Premier League crown. Hoppers meanwhile are seeking the win which will put them within touching distance of securing their first title in this division since the double winning campaign of 2006. The men from Lightfoot Green approach the fixture in great form having beaten Sedgley Park and Stockport in their last two league fixtures. Last week’s cup exit to Sedgley was disappointing but they took immense heart from the way in which they played and realise that Park’s biggest contributors were returning from time with their 1st XV.
Hoppers place at the top of Conference A has been questioned in some quarters but their statistics since the start of the season suggest that their place as leader of the pack is well deserved. Had it not been for an extremely unfortunate defeat to Sedgley in the New Year then Hoppers would have one hand already on the championship trophy.
This Saturday sees Will Keenan and Josh Purnell return to second team action whilst there is a debut for Keenan’s fellow Manxman Glynn Hoosen-Owen. Squad rotation sees Mark Irving drop to the bench and Greg Horsfall return following a wrist injury.
The meet time is 12.30pm at Lightfoot Green or 2pm at Macclesfield. The squad in full is as follows:
Subs: Oga Mabaya, Mark Irving, Greg Horsfall