Hoppers Team News:
Sean Taylor, Matt Hughes, Tom Hughes, Russ Flynn, Phil Baines, Graham Holroyd, Nathan Fowles, Andy Irving, Alan Martindale, Mark Irving, Ali Atkinson, Mark Rigbye, Mark Philips, Matt Charters Capt, Dominic Moon,
Will Bordill, Phil Mills, Chris Lowden, Tom Smith and Mark Edwards
Bromsgrove vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 3pm
Karl Fitzpatrick’s is missing this weekend so Head Coach Dave Baldwin has moved Russell Flynn from last week’s position on the bench to fill the gap. Phil Mills, Mark Edwards and Tom Smith are added to the replacements.
Travelling Hoppers supporters will be hoping their team build on last week’s performance to come away from Finstall Park with a win but can expect strong opponents Bromsgrove to provide their sternest test so far this season.
One player who will certainly be hoping to celebrate a victory is Mark Irving who makes his fiftieth League appearance for Hoppers since his debut back in the 2008/9 season.
Hoppers make a trip in the opposite direction from their last away fixture in Cumbria, with a long journey south to National 2 North newcomers Bromsgrove this coming Saturday. Dave Baldwin’s team will be hoping to build on last week’s victory over Leicester Lions and if the weather improves, play on a dry pitch for a change!
The Midlanders will need to keep an eye on Matt Hughes who now stands alone as the Leagues leading try scorer after his double against the Lions last Saturday.
The only previous meeting between the two clubs 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.
Familiar Hoppers names Butler, Brierley and Threlfall featured on the team-sheet, with the two ‘B’s sharing four tries between them. Brierley scoring a hat-trick. It might come as something of a surprise down in Bromsgrove to hear Keith Brierley is still pulling on his boots at Lightfoot Green although they can rest easy as he’s currently committed to play for the 6th Team!
Bromsgrove have had a tricky opening sequence of fixtures to deal with in their inaugural season at this level, a task it has to be said they have comfortably dealt with. A home victory to fellow National 3 promoted team Sheffield Tigers got them off to the best of starts before an impressive victory at N2N “old boys” Harrogate. Fellow midlands outfit Luctonians posed a stiffer task however bringing them their first defeat of the season in the local derby albeit by a close margin. They suffered another narrow defeat last weekend at Nuneaton, a result Hoppers will be hoping they don’t feel the backlash of.
For those supporters not travelling to watch the Firsts, there’s a selection games being played at Lightfoot Green all with a 2:15 kick off time. The 2nd XV have made an impressive start to the season, sitting atop of the Bateman BMW Premier League and remain undefeated. Why not come along and add your support. There will also be food available, and of course the bar’s open.
Hoppers 2nds vs. Altrincham Kersal 2
Hoppers 3rds vs. Wirral 2
Hoppers 4ths vs. Bolton 2
The next home game for the First XV sees them entertain Westoe on the 1st of October with a 2.30 kick off time. The team from South Shields are one of the pre-season title favourites but slipped up last weekend suffering their first defeat of the season after a long journey to Luctonians.
Link to ground directions if you are travelling by car to Bromsgrove:
1869′ Club coach to Bromsgrove:
Unfortunately the ‘1869’ Club coach to the 1st team away match at Bromsgrove on Sat 24th Sept, has had to be cancelled.
Homepage photo courtesy of Mick Craig