Blackburn to visit Lightfoot Green

Date: 07 February 2022

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Blackburn – K.O. 2:30pm, 12th February 2022 

Preston Grasshoppers welcome local rivals Blackburn RUFC to Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday for what promises to be another tough game for Hoppers.

Both teams recorded terrific victories on the last Saturday in January, Hoppers giving probably their best all round performance of the season in both nilling and collecting a bonus point victory in the gale that swept Billingham, and our visitors lowered league leaders Otley’s colours by inflicting their first reverse of the season.

Billingham’s consecutive defeats at the hands of Hoppers and Otley, looks to have ended their bid for top spot, whilst Blackburn’s win last week in ther re-arranged game over Wirral has moved them above Hoppers (who have the home fixture against Otley in hand) into second place. Otley are still top thanks to their victory at Alnwick, also a re-arranged game.

Looking ahead to next week’s opponents, Blackburn RUFC had a creditable start to life in the Northern Premier League in what was their first venture into Level 5 rugby, finishing just above mid table when all games came to a halt back in March 2020. Prior to that our hosts played in the North 1 West League, gaining promotion through a play off victory over Scarborough from the Eastern section at the end of the previous season.

Everyone present will recall the game at Ramsgreave Drive earlier in the season, when at the final whistle the scores were level with both sides having opportunities to win the game in the final minutes. Remembering that game, everything points to a pulsating afternoon in prospect at Lightfoot Green, both on the field of play, terraces and in the grandstand.

Although this is just the second League meeting, there have been many games between the two going back to Hoppers resumption after the 1st World War.

The first game between Preston Grasshoppers and Blackburn RUFC was played on the 19th of November 1921 at Hoppers Ribbleside ground where the visitors ran out winners by sixteen points to four. The return game due to be played at Blackburn’s Yellow Hills ground on the 11th of February the following year was cancelled.

With the formation of league rugby in 1987, fixtures between the two clubs more or less fizzled out with just twelve meetings, the most recent being Lancashire Cup matches and the sole league game back in October 2021.

There have been one hundred and twenty three games between the two clubs, a figure that might well surprise many people from Preston and Blackburn. Results of the encounters prior to WW2 were fairly even but Hoppers have been the dominant force since then, Blackburn winning just seven of the seventy two games during that latter period.

Interestingly, matches between the two continued during the war years, with a total of eighteen games being completed between 1939 – 1945.

The full record of meetings between Blackburn and Hoppers reads that out of the previously mentioned tally, Hoppers won eighty eight times to Blackburn’s twenty six with nine games drawn, two of which similar, to Hoppers visit to Cross Green in 2019, ended scoreless. Over the years there have also been nine cancelled fixtures.

The 1869 Club supporters will be travelling to the Lymm for the next away game, with the coach departing the Hoppers Clubhouse car park at around 11am. If you’d like to travel, please add your name to the notice in the club foyer and check the departure time.


Team News

1. Oli Trippier
2. Christian Taylor (C)
3. Peter Altham
4. Ally Murray
5. Sam Gale
6. Rob Bramhall
7. Toby Harrison
8. Matt Lamprey (vc)
9. Harrison Moulding
10. Alex Ward
11. Tyler Spence
12. Sam Stott (vc)
13. Jordan Dorrington
14. Will Clapham
15. Jacob Browne
16. Oga Mabaya
17. Ben Dorrington
18. Jake Squirrell

Match Programme

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