Hoppers vs Bromsgrove – Team News

Date: 10 January 2012

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Bromsgrove – Kick Off 2.30pm

Team News

15. Sean Taylor, 14. Matt Gargett, 13. Sean Long, 12. Jack Ward, 11. Phil Baines, 10. Graham Holroyd, 9. Mark Edwards, 1. Chris Gale, 2. Alan Holmes, 3. Richard Morton, 4. Ali Atkinson, 5. Wayne Steel, 6. Connor Murphy, 7. Matt Charters Capt, 8. Dominic Moon.

Replacements: 16. Alan Martindale 17. Andy Irving, 18. Kilian Wallace, 19. Jonny Mahon, 20. Antony Elliott.

Dave Baldwin’s team selection shows a number of changes from last week’s line-up with the return of Sean Long in the centres and skipper Matt Charters to the back row. Mark Edwards regains his position at scrum half after just one week in the absence of Nathan Fowles who is on duty for his parent club Sale Sharks. Matt Hughes is also unavailable, missing his first game this season.

Mark Edwards will make his 50th appearance for the club this Saturday. He arrived at Hoppers from Fylde for the start of the 2009/10 season, one of a number in recent years who were dissatisfied with the lack of first XV opportunities at the Woodlands. His favoured position of fly-half has been occupied by Graham Holroyd for much of this season, but ‘Bunny’ stepped into the scrum-half roll when Nathan Fowles was injured and has done a commendable job there. His fifty games show a total of 202 points mainly from the boot, but also include four tries.


Hoppers entertain one of National 2 North’s newcomers Bromsgrove this coming Saturday when Dave Baldwin’s team will be hoping to build on their run of victories, the latest being last week’s narrow win at Leicester Lions which was a second double this season and a first ever over the Midlanders. Four away wins on the trot means another trawl through the archives to search out the last time it was bettered before next week’s edition!

A notable Milestone for the club was created by Killian Wallace when in scoring Hoppers fifth try last week, the five points clocked up 11,000 in League matches for Preston Grasshoppers. As fine a try as this certainly was, the comical sight of the ball rebounding of first upright then crossbar before dropping ever so slowly into goal after Mooney’s try a few moments later will stay long in the mind. It was made even more memorable for whilst all this was happening, the home supporters were jeering ‘Holie’ as he sat on the grass after losing his footing whilst kicking the ball watching his effort all play out in front of him with us stood behind the posts holding our collective breath!

The only previous meeting with this week’s visitors here in Preston, took place nearly forty years ago at The Lea Ground on the 16th of December 1972. Bromsgrove stepping in to replace a scheduled fixture against Orrell who had a National Cup game that day. The game resulted in a 26–6 victory to the home club.

Bromsgrove have settled into this league very well and sit comfortably in mid table, just one place behind Hoppers. The fixture at Finstall Park earlier in the season ending all square after a game which swung one way then another with the final whistle seeing both teams not wanting to settle for a draw, going all out for another score to seal victory.

Rich Morton above, reached a significant milestones last week at Leicester Lions in making his 150th appearance for Preston Grasshoppers. Richard arrived at Hoppers early in the 2002/2003 season from the Manchester club during Alex Keay’s first term, making his debut at Scunthorpe on the 12th of October and helping Hoppers record their first victory in twenty one outings. Since when he has accumulated 182 points scoring 36 tries plus kicking a conversion at Birkenhead Park during Hoppers season in North 1. Photographed in his typical post match guise by Mike Craig.

Other home games

Hoppers 2nds face Sedgley Park 2 this Saturday fresh from handing out another thrashing to Fylde 2, in what promises to be an early guide as to how the table might look at the end of the season. The visitors defeated Hoppers before Christmas in the first phase of the season and ended up top of the ‘Half Way League’. The second half of the season hasn’t started too well for this week’s visitors, with Park just about managing a win in a low scoring game against Chester 2 at home before suffering their first defeat of the season at Paton Field. Hoppers will be keen to take advantage and put a bigger margin between the two teams.

Other games being played at Lightfoot Green this week, all with a 2:15 kick off time are;

Hoppers 3rds vs. Kendal 2

Hoppers 4ths vs. Tyldesley 2

Both Colts teams are at home this Sunday. The Juniors vs Stockport with a 12.30pm KO followed by the Seniors vs LSH at 2pm.

Armed Forces Day

Saturday’s game will also see Hoppers cricket section hosting members of the armed forces for a pre-match luncheon. This is a gesture to repay the exceptional hospitality which followed a friendly cricket match at Fulwood Barracks last Summer.

What started off as an invite to half a dozen Army personnel has now grown into two tables thanks to generous sponsorship from Sir Robert Atkins and Harrison & Drury. We hope to welcome up to ten guests from the barracks and also two RAF guests.

In addition there will be a bucket collection at half time for the ‘Help the Heroes’ charity. The club will also offer free admission to the game to any services personnel and their families on production of suitable ID.


Back to Club News