Hoppers Team News:
Sean Taylor, Phil Baines, Karl Fitzpatrick, Tom Hughes, Matt Hughes, Graham Holroyd, Nathan Fowles, Andy Irving, Alan Martindale, Mark Irving, Ali Atkinson, Mark Rigbye, Mark Philips, Matt Charters Capt, Dominic Moon,
Russ Flynn, Will Bordill, Brad Tuff, Chris Lowden, Mark Murray
With no injuries from last weeks encounter at Mint Bridge, Head Coach Dave Baldwin has shown faith in naming the same starting XV, but Will Bordill, returning from Commonwealth Youth 7s in the Isle of Man, joins Brad Tuff and Mark Murray in changes to the bench. Hoppers supporters will be hoping for a similar performance tomorrow as the one they saw a fortnight ago against a formidable Caldy team.
After making his fiftieth appearance for Hoppers a couple of weeks ago against Caldy, Full Back Sean Taylor will reach the same Milestone in League games against Leicester Lions tomorrow. Sean will be hoping to add to his tally of tries this season and keep on the tail of the club & League’s leading try scorer, Matty Hughes.
Hoppers welcome one of last season’s top teams to Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday, although their start to the current campaign hasn’t gone the way most people would have predicted.
Dave Baldwin will be looking to get Hoppers playing more like they did in our last home game against Caldy than at Mint Bridge on Saturday where a disastrous start and a resolute Kendal outfit didn’t help the visitor’s cause.
Fixtures against this weekend’s opponents began relatively recently when the Lions gained promotion into the National Leagues as Champions of Midlands 1 at the end of the 2004/5 season. Since then the lion’s share of victories belong to the Midlands outfit, Hoppers winning five times out of twelve meetings.
Since last season Mitch Todd has left Leicester Lions for Birmingham and Solihull and Junior Fagalilo has re-located with his wife and young family, returning to Darlington. Ben Walker has taken a year out, travelling Australia and New Zealand, and a number of the older members of the squad including Rich Moore have retired.
Two heavy defeats against Harrogate and Luctonians plus a narrower loss last week to the Nuns, have given the Lions a terrible start to the new season and sees them isolated at the bottom of the table. All rather surprising to the rest of the league, as Leicester were one of last season’s pace setters.
Other games being played at Lightfoot Green this Saturday with a 2:15 kick off time are as follows:
Hoppers 5ths vs. Millom 2
Hoppers 6ths vs. Clitheroe 2
Next week sees the First XV make a journey to pastures new when they visit Midland’s newcomers, Bromsgrove. The Finstall Park side were promoted as Champions of Midlands 3 back in May and have made a successful start in National 2. There only reverse so far was last Saturday at home to near neighbour Luctonians who won a close fought game by a hairs breadth.
The 1869 Club are hoping to run a coach to this new venue, so make sure you add your names to the list on the Noticeboard.
Next Sunday the 18th, sees the Hoppers Women’s team start their season with a league fixture against Morpeth. The game kicks off at 2pm so come along and give them your support. On the same afternoon our Junior Colts entertain Wirral in a Raging Bull Junior Colts League game, which also has a 2pm start time.
Main match Sponsors for Saturday’s game against Leicester Lions is CPL Training Ltd.