Hoppers head to Huddersfield

Date: 06 April 2015

Huddersfield vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 3.00

Christ Taylor scores against Huddersfield

Chris Taylor takes the pain in the act of scoring his try against Huddersfield back in December.

Team News

Garth Dew’s selection for this critical fixture on Saturday shows little difference from the side that faced Stourbridge at Lightfoot Green a couple of weeks ago.

There’s just one change in the pack where Dominic Moon is included in the starting fifteen with Will Lees dropping to the bench, Harry Moulding is Garth’s choice to wear the number nine shirt and is the only other change from a fortnight ago to the starting line up. John O’Donnell is added to the squad on the bench.

The full line up reads;

1. Dan Madden, 2. Phil Mills, 3. Pete Altham, 4. Reece Tomlinson, 5. Ally Murray (Captain), 6. Dominic Moon, 7. Andy Napier, 8. Chris Taylor, 9. Harrison Moulding, 10. Lewis Allen, 11. Sam Kendall, 12. Billy Woof, 13. Sam Russell, 14. Scott Jordan, 15. Mark Murray.

Replacements: 16. Brad Tuff, 17. Jack Banks, 18. Richard Morton, 19. Will Lees, 20. John O’Donnell.


Preston Grasshoppers take the relatively short journey to Huddersfield’s Lockwood Park ground overlooked by the giant railway arches for their next game, and in so doing will be crossing the Pennines for the penultimate time this season.

If the game against Stourbridge was a must win fixture, then the onus on this one has multiplied after the disappointment of the latest result at Lightfoot Green. Plenty of effort went into their performance against Stourbridge, but the visitors just soaked this up for most of the afternoon and pierced Hoppers unusually leaky defence on just enough occasions to secure the points.

After a pointless defeat at the hands of Stourbridge, Hoppers fight for survival took a blow with Birmingham Solihull gaining the full five points over next Saturday’s opponents and making the battle to avoid the drop into a five horse race to pull away from the two remaining relegation places.

All five contenders for the drop’s next fixtures appear to give opportunities for much needed points, let’s hope Hoppers are amongst the successful ones.

Hoppers are now just four points clear of ‘The Bees’ who currently sit in fourteenth position, the last relegation spot and will clearly have to pick up points from their three remaining games if they are not to be making trips to Rossendale, Wirral and possibly Ilkley amongst others next season.

Unlike Hoppers, Huddersfield have already secured their place in National 2 North for next season and will be hoping to push on through their three remaining games and finish a in very honourable mid table position. This is something Stockport, their fellow promo-tees have failed to have achieved as they have finished bottom of the pile and are already relegated. Broadstreet, who were promoted as Champions of Midlands 1 have also reached a mid table position.

Meetings between the two clubs go back to the late 1950’s when Hoppers made the first journey over the Pennines to play Huddersfield on the 29th of March 1958 at The Waterloo Ground, which is now occupied by a Morrisons Supermarket.

It wasn’t a lucky trip for the travellers as the home team ran out comprehensive victors, 29 points to 9; in fact it took eight visits to Huddersfield before Hoppers eventually gained a win there in 1965.

The playing record between this week’s opponents sits in favour of Huddersfield by thirty victories against twenty four to Hoppers with two matches ending all square and one being cancelled. Meetings in Preston however are in favour of the home team with seventeen victories against eleven and both drawn games being played at Lea. The edge in League encounters was taken by our hosts earlier in the season with their narrow last gap victory at Lightfoot Green making it six to five.

There have been a couple of other meeting between the two teams, they were both pre-season practice games at Lockwood Park. The first before the start of the 2003/04 season when Hoppers ran riot, winning 79-19. This was however small consolation at the end of the season when we were relegated to North 1. The second one was before last season’s league fixtures commenced and was a much closer affair with the visitors running our winners twenty six points to twenty one.

Photograph by kind permission of Mike Craig.

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