Huddersfield trip for 1st XV

Date: 08 December 2015

Preston Grasshoppers take the relatively short journey to Huddersfield’s Lockwood Park ground overlooked by the giant railway arches for their next game, and will be hoping for better luck with the weather than last Saturday’s late call off at Lightfoot Green.

With the weather forecasters predicting the rain would cease around noon, and the local referee deeming the pitch playable early in the morning Hoppers Groundsman and a gallant team of volunteers stuck to their task of forking the pitch to help the worse areas drain more freely. However with the rain still ‘persisting down’ this was all in vain and at one o’clock with still no sign of abatement, the valiant fight against the elements was lost and the game postponed until the new year.

Thankfully the weather didn’t dampen the pre-Christmas celebrations in the clubhouse and the visitors were fed and watered (internally) before beginning their journey homeward.

We should spare a thought for fellow National 2 North colleagues up in Corbridge where the River Tyne did its worse once again and flooding their Clubhouse with the water level all but reaching the crossbar of the goal posts in front of the building. Heaven knows what damage they’ll discover once the water levels recede and we send them our best wishes for a swift recovery. On the same subject of Tynedale, it had to be Luctonians travelling north on that particular weekend, their longest journey by some distance and with the game only being called of around the same time as ours, they would no doubt have almost completed their journey. By all accounts the ground wasn’t flooded by then, but the bridge over the river approaching the ground had been closed for safety reasons. Local club Garstang’s ground by the river Wyre suffered a similar fate and judging by the pictures shared on Twitter, it will be some time before either club can get their Clubhouses back into normal use.

Back to the main topic of this article, and Hoppers visit to Huddersfield is of massive importance as the hosts sit even more precariously than ourselves at the bottom end of the table so a win for both teams will be paramount. Broadstreet’s victory over our last opponents Harrogate plunged Huddersfield into second from bottom in the league with Hoppers just a handful of points above both of them and Luctonians.

The 1869 Supporters bus will be travelling east once again and will be giving their vocal support in hopefully drier conditions than their last outing a couple of weeks ago to Harrogate. While Ally Murray will hopefully make his one hundredth appearance after the event being postponed from last Saturday.

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 one 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 last season by a couple of narrow victories making it seven to Hoppers 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 – Garth Dew encourages Christian Taylor to head for the Sandal line during Hoppers last home game.

Back to Club News