Preston Grasshoppers vs. Caldy- KO 2:30 pm
Preston Grasshoppers host undefeated league leaders Caldy at Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday, a game in which the visitors require just a couple of points to be crowned Champions. It will take a great effort from Hoppers to put a hold on any celebrations and make the visitors wait another week, but the visitors and their supporters can be sure there won’t be any lack of effort on their part.
Caldy are set to make a quick return to National 1 with four or five games to spare, and with the prospect of becoming National 2 North Champions after Saturday’s game, the Lightfoot Green clubhouse will no doubt play hosts to a great number of travelling supporters from the Wirral.
Caldy’s promotion at the end of the 2016/17 season ended a sequence of ten when both teams had faced each other in league contests, but the end of this season looks like seeing both clubs heading in different directions.
The Inaugural senior game against Caldy & Hoppers was a pre-season warm-up fixture at Lightfoot Green prior to the 2004/5 season. Caldy had climbed the league ladder with a succession of promotions from the depths of South Lancashire and Cheshire 3, eventually gaining promotion to N2N as Champions of North 1 in 2007.
The first league meeting was at Paton Field back on the 6th of October 2007 when Hoppers turned round a narrow half time deficit to eventually run out winners by twenty points to sixteen. Since then just a couple of consecutive wins under Dave Baldwin’s leadership have given Hoppers the spoils at Paton Field from a total of eight further visits.
There have been twenty one league meetings between the two clubs since Caldy’s promotion in 2007. Our visitors currently hold the advantage with thirteen wins to Preston Grasshoppers tally of seven. Back in 2016, the game in Cheshire was drawn thirteen all.
Sam Walbank will make his fiftieth appearance for Preston Grasshoppers in his next game for the club. The forward made his debut on the 7th of September 2013 at Dore Moor, in a winning game against Sheffield Tigers missing only one game that season before moving away from Hoppers until his return this season. Congratulations Sam!
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Managing Director, Jim Moore, is a former 1st XV player at Hoppers, having progressed through the club’s successful Mini-Junior and Colts sections, playing since the age of four. This summer, Jim will captain Hoppers Cricket for an unprecedented fourth term, with the team having DOMINATED the Boddingtons Village Cricket League in each of the previous three seasons.
We’re proud to be able to support Arnie and the boys as we enter the latter stages of what has been a frustrating season and build for next year. Tearing up the form book and in complete denial of current league standings, Jim is confidently predicting an impressive 60-0 home win today.
The Hoppers side shows one change in the pack with Toby Harrison coming in for Ben Dorrington. In the backs, Conor Trueman and Jacob Browne return with Scott Jordan and Nick Gregson dropping out. The bench sees Noah Miller back in action as well as a possible debut for 17 year old fly-half Tom Walker. Tom is the son of former 1st XV winger now turned referee Mick Walker. Here’s to a great debut Tom!
1. Oga MABAYA
2. Chris TAYLOR (C)
3. John BLANCHARD
4. Sam WALLBANK
5. Ally MURRAY
6. Ryan CARLSON
7. Toby HARRISON
8. Matt LAMPREY
9. Jake SQUIRRELL
10. Joe PRIOR
11. Conor TRUEMAN
12. Sam STOTT (C)
13. Jordan DORRINGTON
14. Jacob BROWNE
15. Tyler SPENCE
16. Oli TRIPPIER
17. Noah MILLER
18. Rob MEADOW
19. Will CLAPHAM
20. Tom WALKER
1. John Whittaker 2 Ollie Hearn, 3 Derek Salisbury, 4. Martin Gerrard, 5. Tom Sanders, 6. Harrison Crowe, 7. Adam Aigbokhae, 8. JJ Dickinson 9. Cameron Davies, 10. Lewis Barker, 11. Tom Cornall, 12 Mike Cartmill. 13. Gavin Roberts, 14. Nick Royle, 15. Rhys Hayes, 16. Nyle Davidson, 17.Mike Barlow, 18. Jack Collister, 19. Callum Ridgway, 20. Jack Parker,