Preston Grasshoppers welcome the Kirkby Lonsdale rugby club to Lightfoot Green this Saturday for the first ever League meeting between the two clubs. The Cumbrians have made the journey into this league from the opposite direction to Hoppers by means of finishing last season as Champions of the North West 1 League.
Words by Mike Forshaw, photo by Mike Craig.
Our opponents have the distinction of achieving promotion from their league not only as Champions but remaining undefeated for the whole season. Before the start of this term, their last defeat came in the play-off game at the end of the previous season when the lost narrowly to Morley in a high scoring game on their own ground in Cumbria. There last league defeat before succumbing to Ilkley last month was back in April 2016 when Kendal were victorious at their old Mint Bridge ground. This was the final league game of that season with the result determining who was promoted and which side went into the play-off fixture.
Our visitors this week are one of many this season who Hoppers have never met previously, or not for some time. Kirkby Lonsdale come under the second heading although our other senior sides have met regularly over recent seasons especially in the North West Leagues.
Hoppers were well supported last Saturday for the inaugural game at Kendal’s brand new Mintbridge facility where they were rewarded with a hard worked victory which maintains their unbeaten run this season.
With the Saturday following the Kirkby Lonsdale game being a reserve week, Hoppers next game is a trip to Rossendale’s Marl Pits where the 1869 Club are hoping to run another well filled coach load of supporters. There will be a notice on the board for people to add their names this Saturday with departure from the Clubhouse at 11:15.
OLD HOPPERS PROGRAMMES
We have a number of duplicate programmes which have been returned to us from the Lancashire Archives and these will be available for members to pick through and take what they want this Saturday in the Clubhouse. They are mainly home programmes plus a few from other clubs from the 1990s and early 2000s but there are also one or two other pieces which may be of interest.