Preston Grasshoppers vs. Hull – Kick Off 2.30pm
There are a number of changes from last week’s line up mainly in the pack. Chris Gale steps up from the bench as does Ally Murray, replacing Richard Morton and Eddie Webster respectively. Killian Wallace takes over the 7 shirt and Conor Murphy looks to make a welcome return to the 1st XV and Danny Madden joins him on the bench.
The backs show just one change, Sam Kindred starting with Josh Purnell in the replacements.
1. Andy Irving, 2. Alan Holmes, 3. Chris Gale, 4. Gareth Gore, 5. Wayne Steel, 6. Ally Murray, 7. Killian Wallace, 8. Dominic Moon, Captain. 9. Sam Kindred. 10. Sean Long, 11. Matt Hughes, 12. Jack Ward, 13. Karl Fitzpatrick, 14. Phil Baines,15. Sean Taylor.
Replacements: 16. Phil Mills, 17. Danny Madden, 18. Conor Murphy, 19. Michael Haley, 20. Josh Purnell.
Hoppers will be hoping for a better result this coming Saturday when they play consecutive home games against teams from the East Riding. The Hull club from the Ferens Ground will be our last visitors during the opening month of the season.
Last Saturday’s game against Hull Ionians was always going to be a close run thing and so it turned out, some consolation for Hoppers was the fact that they outscored their opponents by three tries to two.
Hull travel to Lightfoot Green with the unenviable record this season of three losses from three outings, two of them at home and including a similarly close result as Hoppers at the hands of their closest rivals Ionians. Of the three defeats it’s important to note that they haven’t lost by more than five points and the East Riding outfit will have noted Hoppers two defeats have also been by small margins.
Fixtures against Humberside’s ‘Town’ Club are only recent events, the first taking place back in the 2004/5 season at Hull’s old ground when Hoppers were victorious by thirty four points to thirty two. The home team missed a late kick at goal for victory helping Hoppers on their way to promotion. Last season’s thirty six points to twenty nine victory was Hull’s first win at Lightfoot Green in five attempts, Hoppers winning three including a win in a National Cup tie plus an eighteen all draw the previous season.
Other games being played at Lightfoot Green this coming weekend, kicking off at 3pm, include:
Hoppers 5ths vs. Blackburn 3
Hoppers 6ths vs. Burnley 3
Hoppers Women will be hoping to get their season underway after a delayed start last week when their opponents Northwich pulled out of the scheduled fixture. A trip to Crosby St Mary’s is scheduled for Sunday. At Lightfoot Green on the same day, Hoppers Junior Colts take on Chester with a 2pm Kick Off time.
A special mention for the undefeated Second fifteen who make the long journey to Macclesfield next Saturday with whom Hoppers (and Fylde) share top spot in the Bateman Premier League.