Hoppers & Bees Team News

Date: 13 October 2014

‘Centurion’ Phil Baines hands off one of the Bees centres during a previous encounter at Lightfoot Green.

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Birmingham Solihull – Kick Off 2.30pm

Team News

Garth Dew makes just one change from the starting line up at Sedgley Park with Will Lees replacing Jack Walker who takes his turn on the bench. There is also one change to the replacements in the shape of Pete Altham for Rich Morton.

1 John Peterson, 2 Phil Mills, 3 Danny Madden, 4 Reece Tomlinson, 5 Ally Murray, 6 Andy Napier, 7 Will Lees, 8 Chris Taylor, 9 Sam Whyte, 10 Ollie Carter, 11 Sam Kendall, 12 Billy Woof, 13 Phil Baines (Captain), 14 Lewis Allen, 15 John Embelton.


16 Brad Tuff, 17 Jack Ward, 18 Pete Altham, 19 Sam Kindred, 20 Jack Walker.

Meanwhile our visitor’s have announced the same starting fifteen and set of replacements as last week’s selected twenty.

1 Pete Kozoit, 2 Lewis Grinsell, 3 Nick Bingham, 4 Matt Spink, 5 Chris Goddard (Captain), 6 Will Crane, 7 Ashley Skriven, 8 Steve Leach, 9 Jack Jolly, 10 Adam Canning, 11 Rupert Giles, 12 Rob Connolly, 13 Steve Johns, 14 Jimmy Oliver, 15 Rod Petty.


16 Andy Kettle, 17 Liam Dunne, 18 Jack Linnett, 19 Chris Carlin, 20 Ian Briggs.


Preston Grasshoppers will be hoping to build on an impressive four try performance last week at Sedgley Park when they fell just short in the final moments of a game in which they led for long periods after recovering from a fourteen point deficit early in the first half.

The result at Park Lane has a familiar story line to Sedgley Park’s visit to our visitor’s ground the previous week when they took the spoils with the final play of the game. This is a fate that has befallen Birmingham Solihull in three of their six games this season, so although they languish at the lower end of the table with just one win to their name, Hoppers task this coming weekend won’t have to be underestimated.

There were a number of notable firsts during the game against The Tigers last Saturday where Billy Woof made his début for the First XV and both Chris Taylor and Reece Tomlinson scored their maiden tries for Preston Grasshoppers. Another Milestone was Lewis Allen’s achievement in passing the two hundred points total with his eleven point haul and after recently respectively celebrating a century and half century of 1st XV games, both skipper Phil Baines and Sam Kindred will be hoping to reach the same landmarks in League appearances this coming weekend against The Bees.

Games against Birmingham RFC began back on the 9th of September 1967 when Hoppers travelled south defeating the home side by seventeen points to three and upsetting Birmingham’s celebrations after the opening of their new ground. A total of eleven contests took place before the amalgamation with Solihull, Hoppers winning four including the one and only league match at Portway to the Midlanders seven successes.

Games against the now defunct Solihull rugby club began on the 7th of October 1978 at Lightfoot Green with the home team beginning an undefeated run of five games against this particular opposition. These games included one drawn game and the only league meeting between the two sides a couple of seasons before the merger.

Once Birmingham Solihull was formed things went well for the Hoppers winning the first three meetings before a drawn game during the 1995/6 season turned things round, our opponents going on to win all but one of the seven games to follow until Hoppers’ two victories during 2012/13 with honours shared last term.

So if you gather all the various teams that can be associated with next weeks opponents under one collective the total of victories couldn’t be much closer with Hoppers just having the edge winning fifteen games to our opponents fourteen plus a couple of drawn encounters.

Picture courtesy of Mike Craig.

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