Hoppers 1st XV head for Harrogate

Date: 25 November 2015

Hoppers will be making a visit to a new venue if not new adversaries this Saturday when they journey across the Pennines to Harrogate’s new ground at Rudding Park. While the first fixture between the two clubs was played out at the old ground on Claro Road almost fifty one years ago to the day.

Although Harrogate sit comfortably in mid table above them in the league, Hoppers will travel with confidence in search of a third consecutive victory after a notable win over high flying Sandal last week in what was their best performance at Lightfoot Green this season. If they are successful next week in Harrogate, it will be the first time since the opening part of last season they have won three games on the trot.

After an indifferent first third of the season, the team is now beginning to gel and will be looking to build on the recent good form. Although Harrogate has never been a happy hunting ground in the past, Hoppers will be hoping the new venue will bring them more success.

They certainly won’t be short of support next week with the 1869 Club coach all but fully booked. There are just a few seats left, so don’t leave it too late to book your place and a word of warning to the travellers, there isn’t any cover for spectators at the new ground so bring your weatherproof gear if the forecast is set to be inclement.

The Yorkshiremen are one of our more regular opponents since league fixtures began back in 1987. Out of the twenty three matches played, Harrogate have won fourteen to our six 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 is only the second league victory at this particular part of West Yorkshire out of twelve attempts.

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

Photo courtesy of Mike Craig – John Mackenzie looks to the referee for confirmation of his decisive score last Saturday against Sandal

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