Hull Ionians Test for 1st XV

Date: 29 October 2014

Jordan Pearson takes the brunt of a strong challenge whilst Rich Morton & John Peterson wince at the outcome.

Hull Ionians vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 2.00pm

Team News

After last week’s success, Hoppers starting line up is given a vote of confidence and asked for a repeat performance. Just one change on the bench with Brad Tuff returning in place of Jack Wilkinson.

1 John Peterson, 2 Phil Mills,3 Pete Altham, 4 Reece Tomlinson, 5 Ally Murray, 6 Andy Napier,7 Will Lees, 8 Chris Taylor, 9 Sam Kindred, 10 Lewis Allen,11 Matt Gargett, 12 Jack Ward, 13 Sam Russell, 14 Phil Baines (Captain), 15 John Embelton.


16 Brad Tuff, 17 Andy Irving, 18 Richard Morton, 19 Sam Whyte, 20 Tom Hurst.


Hoppers head for Yorkshire on Saturday for the second time this season, this time to the East Ridings and Brantingham Park the home of Hull Ionians.

Hoppers birthday celebrations were given a boost last Saturday with a much needed victory over Leicester Lions, managing to outplay their opponents for the full eighty minutes, something which has been missing in recent weeks. A splendid all round performance which was in keeping with the spirit of the day.

Our hosts this week are looking to bounce straight back up to National 1 after a such a short period at that level last season. Injuries and missing players must have played a big part in a season which ended in relegation back to N2N, but their trio of victories from thirty outings bears testament to the tremendous gulf between the two leagues. This is confirmed with all three promoted teams from level 4 sitting in the relegation slots at the end of the season.

Ionians currently hold the play off position in National 2 North and unless there’s a sudden change in their form and fortunes, they’ll surely be in contention come the end of April next year.

Fixtures against Hull Ionians started in their inaugural season on the 7th of October 1989 at Lightfoot Green, when on this occasion the visiting team were victorious by thirteen points to nine. Hoppers who featured that day were Joe Hindle, Dave Percy, ‘Bill’ Bailey, Brent Horton, Neil Ashton and Roy Dransfield. Although not deemed fit enough to play in that game, Preston Grasshoppers current 1st XV Head Coach Garth Dew’s father Chris had just joined the club from Waterloo and subsequently went on to Captain before Coaching the side himself.

Mention should also be made regarding a Hoppers stalwart and someone who has held most positions within the club including a thirty one year stint as Fixture Secretary before becoming the Club’s President after venturing across the border from Yorkshire during 1953 on what he likes to refer to as ‘Missionary Work’. This is of course Les Anson and the reason for mentioning his name in the build up to a game against a side from Hull is that Les was a playing member and Secretary of the now defunct Hull and East Riding club from which this week’s opponents evolved. Les in his ninetieth year still attends the home games at Lightfoot Green, something we all hope will continue for a long time to come.

The record so far between today’s rivals stands marginally in Hoppers favour by fourteen victories to thirteen who will be hoping to head back to Lancashire with a similar result to last week.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Craig.

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