Leaders Macc at Lightfoot Green

Date: 09 March 2016

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Macclesfield – Kick Off 2.00pm

Hoppers host ‘top-of-the-league’ Macclesfield this coming Saturday for their third home game on the trot and will be hoping for more success than in the previous two. This won’t be easy of course as our visitors are running away with National 2 North and look certain to be promoted and regain their Level 2 position after just one season away.

The Cheshire side have hit upon a good run of form since this fixture was postponed back in early January, winning in all five of their outings since then. Hoppers on the other hand have lost their last three games after a successful run of results which stretched back to the start of December. With teams below Hoppers gradually closing the gap, it’s now a case of looking over the shoulder instead of ahead as was the case only a couple of weeks ago.

Last weeks reverse against a resurgent Luctonians was disappointing on a number of fronts, none less than the fact it allowed a team below us to close the gap by four points. Garth and his band of coaches will have a significant job in front of them preparing their charges for the important games ahead.

With just eight games left to play, equally shared between home and away, and eight points separating Hoppers from Sale who currently sit in the third relegation place, a minimum of three wins will be needed together with a number of bonus points, and the sooner these are in the bag the better. Three of these fixtures are against teams from the top four whilst three matches are against opponents currently sitting below us.

Looking back to the game at Priory Park earlier in the season, this was something of a disaster for the visitors who received a sound beating, before returning to Lightfoot Green licking their wounds with just an early penalty to show for their efforts. Early injuries in the game and the powerful home pack’s domination being the telling factors.

Prior to this seasons game in Cheshire, the two teams last met in National 2 North action during 2013/14 when on their way to promotion, Macclesfield were victorious both home and away. In fact the Cheshire side have run out victors on the last seven meetings between the two sides. The last Hoppers success coming in the fixture at Lightfoot Green back in January 2007 when Olly Viney scored a couple of tries in a thirty two points to eighteen victory. Hoppers did the double that season, winning thirty points to twenty at Priory Park when Juan Crous, now Sedgley Park’s Skipper crossed for a Hoppers try.

Competitive games between the two clubs go back to 1993 when the first meeting took place at Lightfoot Green on the 6th of November, Hoppers taking the spoils eighteen points to ten.

There have been twenty meetings between the two clubs at First Team level, with our visitors having the edge by just a single victory and one game drawn thirty six all. Victories in league fixtures has the advantage in Macclesfield’s favour by nine to five.

Photograph courtesy of Michael Craig – Scott Jordan out paces the Luctonians cover defence for his try last Saturday.

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