Closely watched by the match referee Sam Kindred scores his try against Otley earlier this season.
Preston Grasshoppers vs. Ampthill – Kick Off 2.30pm
With Phil Mills not recovering from last week’s injury at Stockport and Chris Taylor unavailable, Head Coach Garth Dew makes a number of changes from last week’s selection.
Brad Tuff starts at hooker as he has done previously this season along with Andy Napier and Richard Morton who both make a welcome returns meaning Pete Altham moves to the bench along with Sam Kindred who is joined by Kilian Wallace and Jack Wilkinson. Sam Whyte gets a starting role this week as does last weeks match winner Ollie Carter.
1 Danny Madden, 2 Brad Tuff, 3 Richard Morton, 4 Reece Tomlinson, 5 Ally Murray, 6 Will Lees, 7 Jack Walker, 8 Andy Napier, 9Sam Whyte, 10 Ollie Carter,11 Sam Kendall,12 Jack Ward, 13 Phil Baines (Captain), 14 Lewis Allen, 15 John Embleton.
16 Jack Wilkinson, 17 Andy Irving, 18 Pete Altham, 19 Sam Kindred, 20 Kilian Wallace.
Our opponents have announced the following selection of players which includes all their points scorers so far this season;
1 Joseph Sprosten, 2 Villami Ma’asi, 3 Matthew Collins, 4 Paino Hehea, 5 Richard Bussey, 6 Bradley Scharff, 7 Joseph Bercis, 8 Matthew Burke, 9 Gavin Williams, 10 Joseph Tarrant, 11 Michael di Ponio, 12 Jonathan Raven, 13 Brenden Burke, 14 Darrell Dyer, 15 Karim Lynch.
16 Lewis Bruger, 17 Alexander Bloisi, 18 Joshua Tyler, 19 Kieran Duffin, 20 Gareth Clarke.
Preston Grasshoppers welcome more new boys to Lightfoot Green and National 2 North this coming Saturday and will be hoping for a similar performance and result to the one in our last home game against Broadstreet.
Our visitors who hail from Bedfordshire will probably be making their farthest ever venture up the North West side of the country and will be bringing with them a one hundred percent record which Hoppers will be hoping to make a dent into.
Ampthill will be the seventy seventh different club Preston Grasshoppers have faced in League competition since it all started back in 1987 and on the subject of statistics, there are a couple of notable milestones on the horizon for Hoppers players. Skipper Phil Baines has recorded ninety nine games for the club in all matches since his debut off the bench at Westoe on the 8th of January 2011 and Sam Kindred is one short of the fifty game milestone. So if fitness and selection are in their favour, let’s hope for a good result to help them celebrate.
Phil Baines’ record shows he’s scored 32 tries since that first game at Wood Lane with Sam having crossed the line six times in just over two seasons.
Whilst our visitors recorded their fourth consecutive five point victory of the season last Saturday, Hoppers struggled to overcome bottom of the league Stockport on their travels. Only a last minute debut try from Ollie Carter saving their blushes. Only an improved performance against the table toppers will make a dent in their record.
As mentioned earlier in this piece, this is our visitors first season in National 2 North but it could have been very different had they hung on for victory at the Northern Echo Stadium back in May when they fell just short against Darlington Mowden Park in the play off game which provided the third promoted side to National 1. The ‘Amps’ played their fixtures in the southern section of Level 4 last term after gaining promotion from Midlands 1 the previous year and find themselves in the Northern section of Level 4 through the level transfer system and the fact that they come under the Midlands Division’s jurisdiction.
It was good to see so many travelling supporters making the trip to Cheshire last week where the visitors were barely outnumbered by the home fans. Another successful outing for the 1869 Club can be recorded which could only be improved by more of the Hoppers travellers giving it their support.
Photos by the Mike’s, Craig & Forshaw.