Long journey to Ampthill for 1st XV

Date: 13 January 2015

Clash of the Giants – Ampthill’s Paino Hehea is about to meet Hoppers Rich Morton back in October

Ampthill vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 2.15pm

Team News

Hoppers team for Saturday sees the return of Reece Tomlinson in the second row with Ally Murray moving into the back three, Billy Woof to the centres and Lewis Allen returning to the starting fifteen.

Brad Tuff replaces Alan Holmes on the bench and Harry Reddick joins the squad whilst Tom Hurst will have to wait his turn this week as one of the replacements.

The game will mark Zav’s fiftieth appearance for Hoppers with Danny Madden also reaching the same milestone but in League appearances.

1. Danny Madden, 2. Phil Mills, 3. Richard Morton, 4. Jack Banks, 5. Reece Tomlinson, 6. Ally Murray, 7. Andy Napier, 8. Chris Taylor, 9. Sam Kindred, 10. Alex Zavallis-Roebuck, 11. Phil Baines (Captain), 12. Billy Woof, 13. Sam Russell, 14. Lewis Allen, 15. Mark Murray.

Replacements: 16. Brad Tuff, 17. Oga Mabaya, 18. Will Lees, 19. Harry Reddick, 20. Tom Hurst.


Preston Grasshoppers make their longest journey since the period spent in National 1 this coming Saturday when they travel south to Bedfordshire to face second in the table Ampthill.

After achieving a much needed five points last week, Hoppers will be hoping to return north with something to show for their efforts in an attempt to keep the three clubs in close proximity below them in the table at bay, and with an improvement on the drubbing they received at Lightfoot Green earlier in the season.

Last weeks encounter with bottom club Stockport saw Hoppers both struggle with the conditions and lack of confidence before turning round at half time and with the elements at their backs put in a far more cohesive display, reversing a two point deficit and in the process scoring five further tries to win by a comfortable margin.

Our hosts this Saturday are playing in their first season of National 2 North after spending just one season in the Southern version of Level 4 rugby where they finished in the runners up position at the end of last year after gaining promotion from Midlands 1 at the end of the 20012/13 season.

They now find themselves playing in the Northern section of Level 4 through the level transfer system due to the fact that they come under the Midlands Division’s jurisdiction. They have made a rapid accent of the leagues in recent seasons and currently sit comfortably clear of third place Harrogate, just a winning margin behind leaders Hull Ionians so will no doubt be hoping to be in the mix for promotion once again come the end of April.

Things could have been very different for ‘The Amps’ had they hung on for victory at the Northern Echo Stadium last May when they fell just short against Darlington Mowden Park in the play off game which provided the third promoted side to National 1.

Photo courtesy of Mike Craig.

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