Harrogate Away for 1st XV

Date: 11 November 2013

Harrogate vs. Preston Grasshoppers– Kick Off 2.00pm

Harrogate away

Dominic Moon, Mark Rigbye and Owen McKenna poised to defend against Harrogate – October 2009

Head Coach Michael Lough has selected the same starting line up as last week for Saturday’s trip to Yorkshire, apart from rotation in the front row between Mo Mustafa and Rich Morton.

Named on the bench is Ali Murray after a run out with the Seconds last week and the returning Eddie Webster.

1 Dan Madden, 2 Phil Mills, 3 Richard Morton, 4 Andy Irving, 5 Sam Wallbank, 6 Kilian Wallace, 7 Will Lees, 8 Dominic Moon (Captain), 9 Sam Kindred, 10 Lewis Allen, 11 Phil Baines, 12 Jack Ward, 13 Karl Fitzpatrick, 14 Matt Hughes, 15. Sean Taylor.


16 Brad Tuff, 17, Ali Murray, 18 Eddie Webster, 19 Craig Aikman, 20 Adam Birchall.


After “Doing a Hoppers” with just a one season stay in North 1, Harrogate will be hosting Preston Grasshoppers in what may well be their last visit to Claro Road, the current home of the red, black and amber’s this coming Saturday.

The saga of Harrogate’s move from Claro Road has dragged on for far too long and the news of development work commencing at Rudding Park, a new site on the south side of the town will be welcomed by all concerned.

Harrogate’s time at their current ground, which they have occupied since the early 1900’s will end once the new facility is ready next September but only if all the pitches are playable and the buildings are completed by then. If there are any delays because of the weather or other issues this could be delayed until January 2015.

Work began in June this year with the levelling and drainage of the main and second pitches. The main pitch has been seeded and the grass is growing well. November has seen the construction of the main entrance and the preparation of the driveway and the car parking areas. Construction of the changing rooms and clubhouse is due to commence early in 2014.

Our opposition this Saturday will be tough test for Hoppers as although they lost at Caldy last weekend their recent form is rather impressive. After drawing a blank throughout September, since then Harrogate have lost just twice in six outings and seem to have found their feet pulling away from the bottom end of the league.

Hoppers two hard fought victories in the last fortnight have given them something to build on and will be looking to make it three away wins on the trot at the end of their trek across the A59.

Craig Aikman

Craig Aikman in the process of scoring his try against Bromsgrove last Saturday

The Yorkshiremen are one of our more regular opponents since league fixtures began back in 1987. Out of the nineteen matches played, Harrogate have won eleven to our five with another three being drawn including both games in the 2000/1 season. Hoppers completed the double in Harrogate’s relegation season and recorded a victory at Claro Road for the first time since the one point victory in 2007/8. In fact this was only the second league victory at this particular place in West Yorkshire out of ten attempts.

With fixtures going back to the 1954/55 season the full record reads, Hoppers nine wins against Harrogate’s twenty four with five ending all square and seven being cancelled for various reasons. The sequence started back on the 23rd of October 1954 at Claro Road.

Fixtures for Hoppers other Senior sides this coming weekend are as follows;

Hoppers 2 vs. Fylde 2 at Home
Hoppers 3 vs. Broughton Park 2 Away
Hoppers 4 vs. Orrell 2 Away
Hoppers 5 vs. Blackburn 3 at Home
Hoppers 6 vs. Burnley 3 Away
Hoppers Women vs. Manchester Away

Pictures courtesy of Mike Craig.

Supporters Coach

The ’1869 Club’ are running their next supporters coach to the 1st XV game at Harrogate on Saturday 16th November. The coach will depart from the club at 10.15am due to an early 2pm kick off at Harrogate. The cost is £15 per person and lunch will be taken en route.

To book a place on the bus please put your name on the list in the club foyer or call Les Harrison on 07910150780. The lads really do appreciate the extra support that these trips can give.

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