Preston Grasshoppers make the short journey to near neighbours Fylde this coming Saturday and similar to the visitors, Fylde are celebrating a significant anniversary this season by way of their Centenary whilst the elder statesmen Hoppers record their Sesquicentenary.
Hoppers suffered defeat last Saturday in a game that the visitors seven point injury time scores denied the hosts a valuable losing bonus point and in so doing flattered Sedgley Park somewhat. Fylde on the other hand sit atop the league table after a comprehensive victory in an eighty four points game at one of this season’s returning league sides Scunthorpe.
Preston Grasshoppers will be hoping to end a period of nearly twenty years since tasting success at the Woodlands in a league game against Fylde and you need to go back to the 27thof October 2001 and eight unsuccessful attempts to find a Hoppers win at the Memorial Ground. Last season was the first meetings between the two clubs since 2011 and a narrow home victory to the Hoppers last September was followed by defeat in the return fixture prior to the Christmas break.
There have been one hundred and forty seven meetings between Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers Senior Sides, These break down into Club, League and various Cup matches. In the club games Fylde have a huge advantage of one hundred and three wins to Hoppers thirty four but in the various National Leagues the margin is narrower with fifteen wins to Fylde and seven to ourselves. Fylde hold a single victory advantage over us at Lancashire Cup level but we won the only Senior Cup Meeting back in November 1996 which was a Pilkington Cup Tie. To complete the record there have been eight drawn games and twelve cancellations. Interestingly, a number of games were played on the Fylde and in Preston between the two clubs during the early years of the 2ndWorld War and out of the one hundred and fifty nine fixtures scheduled to be played, eighty eight have been played over in Ansdell.
Congratulations go to Tyler Sloane who scored his first try for Hoppers last week against Sedgley Tigers and should he make the squad this week, James Fitzpatrick will make his 50th appearance for the club during which time he’s scored sixteen tries since joining Preston Grasshoppers in 2017. ‘Fitz’ made his debut in the opening game of the 2017/18 season at Sandal and celebrated the event with a try.
The Hoppers side sees just one change from last week with James Fitzpatrick replacing Alex Hurst at centre. The bench sees two new faces in prop John Blanchard and three quarter Nick Gregson.
1. Tyler SLOANE, 2. PJ MILLEA (C), 3. Noah MILLER, 4. Adam HOWARD. 5. Ally MURRAY, 6. Ryan CARLSON, 7. Toby HARRISON, 8. Matt LAMPREY, 9. Jake SQUIRRELL, 10. Joe PRIOR, 11. Scott JORDAN, 12. James FITZPATRICK, 13. Sam STOTT, 14. Tyler SPENCE, 15. Jordan DORRINGTON
16. TAYLOR, 17. BLANCHARD, 19. PROCTER, 19. GREGSON, 20. B DORRINGTON