Hoppers host ‘Gate

Date: 30 March 2016

After last weeks fruitless long journey to South Leicester, Hoppers will be hoping to get back on track this Saturday with a home success against a Harrogate side who with a couple of games in hand, sit one place and seven points above them in the table. The defeat in Leicestershire played in a howling gale summed up Hoppers hit and miss sort of season. Hopefully the “Hit Squad” will turn out this Saturday against our visitors from over the hill.

A home victory over the Yorkshire side should be enough to dispel any faint worries over the third relegation place for Hoppers, something which Sandal and Sale look to be the main protagonists over the few remaining fixtures of the season.

Our visitors didn’t have a game last week and due to the fixture list plus postponed matches this will be their first game away from home since early February when they had a narrow victory over Chester. Since that date they’ve beaten Sale and our opponents from last week South Leicester before losing to Luctonians and most recently recording a victory over Caldy, all at Rudding Park.

The game at Harrogate’s new home was a narrow and low scoring affair played under dreadful conditions with victory going to the home side, although the final result was in the balance until a late try for the hosts settled the affair and Hoppers came away empty handed.

The Yorkshiremen are one of our more regular opponents since league fixtures began back in 1987. Out of the twenty four matches played, Harrogate have won fifteen 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 was only the second league victory at this particular part of West Yorkshire out of thirteen attempts.

With fixtures going back to the 1954/55 season the full record reads, Hoppers ten wins against Harrogate’s twenty eight 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.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Craig – Sean Taylor adding to his impressive points tally for Preston Grasshoppers, is due to play his one hundred and fiftieth League Game for the club this Saturday.

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