Chester are visitors for last game of season

Date: 22 April 2019

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Chester – Kick Off 3.00pm

The final Saturday of Hoppers season sees a Chester RUFC side as our visitors who will have one eye on the following Saturday when they make the long journey to Kent for a Play-Off fixture against Canterbury for right to play in National 1 next season.

Although the Cheshire side narrowly missed out on the automatic promotion spot and if their memories can stretch back to the start of the season they will recall a high scoring contest at Hare Lane, from which Hoppers thought they should have gained more than just a solitary losing bonus point. The thirty seven points Preston Grasshoppers scored that day is the biggest match total Chester have conceded all season!

The Hoppers supporters who travelled to South Leicester probably doubled the attendance that day and were rewarded in seeing their favourites notch their highest tally of points so far this season, recording their fourth away success of the season all since the end of February. Following on from Harry Holden and Will Davidson’s first appearances for the Hoppers 1st XV together with brother Tom’s first try, all against Stourbridge in our last home game, Oli Trippier made his fiftieth appearance for the first team at South Leicester.

Having laid the ghost of never winning at South Leicester on their last outing, let’s see if they can do the same with this week’s game, Hoppers have failed to gain a result against Chester from the last nine meetings!

Whether our visitors will travel to Preston with a full squad of players or rest a few individuals for more important matters seven days later remains to be seen. That aside Chester are far from unbeatable as their away record shows, losing on eight occasions out of fourteen. Preston Grasshoppers on the other hand will certainly be going all out for a ‘five pointer’ with the ‘carrot’ of overtaking local rivals Fylde if they fail to do the same at Otley. Five points for Hoppers would also take them above Tynedale if they fail to pick up any points from their home game against Hinckley. They go into the game against Chester with the luxury of no one being able to overtake them and possibly improve their current seventh position in what has been a very competitive league, a position everyone concerned with the club will see as success!

Before Chester’s promotion to National 2 North, the two teams last met in competitive action during Hoppers short stay in North 1 back on the 5th of February 2005 when a relatively comfortable away victory was achieved by twenty points to five completing the double that season for Hoppers. Since then a couple of pre-season ‘training’ fixtures have taken place, both at Chester’s ground with honours shared until the current series of League games.

Fixtures between the two clubs go back over fifty years when the inaugural game took place at our Lea ground on the 23rd of October 1965 where Hoppers won by a single point in a game of thirty three. All told there have been thirty two meetings between the two clubs with our opponents winning twenty one to eleven by ourselves. Add to this a cancelled game from Good Friday 1989 plus a couple of pre-season games and you have the full picture.

Team News

Hoppers name a very strong side for the last game of the season with both Sale Sharks loanees Teddy Leatherbarrow and Rouban Birch in the match day squad.

3. Pete ALTHAM
4. Adam HOWARD
5. Ally MURRAY
9. Scott JORDAN
10. Thomas DAVIDSON
11. Sam STOTT
13. Alex HURST
14. Matt CROW
15. Tyler SPENCE

16. Dan MADDEN
18. Luke PROCTER
19. Rouban BIRCH
20. Conor TRUEMAN

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