Billingham vs. Preston Grasshoppers – 29th January 2022, Kick Off 2:15pm
Contrasting fortunes last Saturday for this weeks opponents up in North Yorkshire, where second placed Preston Grasshoppers visit fourth placed Billingham at their Greenwood Road ground.
The home side suffered their first defeat in ten outings with their previous loss back in mid October, coincidentally at Lightfoot Green, whilst visitors Hoppers leap frogged above Billingham after a well earned victory over Sandal.
Billingham will have travelled to Otley last week fairly confident of success as the undefeated home side appeared to have struggled to victory in their last couple of games. However it was not to be as the Otley team regained their free scoring form, running out comfortable winners.
With a rest weekend the Saturday following this weeks game for Hoppers and looking at the forthcoming major fixtures facing the top four sides, it looks as though much will be decided by the end of February, or will it? Leaders Otley travel to Blackburn then Alnwick the next two Saturdays then have Lymm at home before the rearranged game at Lightfoot Green. Billingham also have a rest following this weeks game before travelling to play Macclesfield and hosting Alnwick at the end of the month, also a rearranged fixture. As previously mentioned, Blackburn host Otley next Saturday before travelling the short distance to Lightfoot Green then hosting Macclesfield. Between the games against Billingham, Blackburn and Otley, Hoppers also travel to Lymm. No easy ones amongst those games!
Billingham would have surely been promoted at the end of last season had it not been for a serious blip in their season performances. Having won each of their first thirteen games of the season, Billingham then went into a slump which saw them lose the next five. Unfortunately for them, recovering to win the remaining three games of the truncated season wasn’t enough to see them promoted in the eventual shake up.
Billingham and Hoppers 1st XV’s had never faced each other before meeting during Hoppers last sojourn into the Northern Premier League and honours were shared with both teams winning on home territory. ‘The Greens’ inflicting one of only two Hoppers season defeats in the game at Greenwood Road.
Our visitors started to climb the leagues as Champions of Durham/Northumberland 1 at the end of the 2007/08 season when they moved into North 1 East where they topped the league in 2009/10 and 2011/12 moving to this level where they’ve played their rugby ever since.
The 1869 Club supporters will be travelling to the North East for the game, with the coach departing Hoppers Clubhouse at 9:30am.If you’d like to travel, please add your name to the notice in the club foyer.
- Oga MABAYA
- Chris TAYLOR (c)
- Olli TRIPPIER
- Ally MURRAY
- Sam GALE
- Toby HARRISON
- Rob BRAMHALL
- Matt LAMPREY
- Jake SQUIRRELL
- Alex WARD
- Tyler SPENCE
- Sam STOTT
- Jordan DORRINGTON
- Wil CLAPHAM
- Jacob BROWNE
- Pete ALTHAM
- Ben DORRINGTON
- Harrison MOULDING