Luctonians visit Lightfoot Green

Date: 19 November 2014

Man of the Match Chris Taylor with the ball last Saturday at Harrogate

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Luctonians – Kick Off 2.30pm

Team News

For a number of reasons the Preston Grasshoppers squad for Saturday has a much changed look about it from the one which appeared last week at Harrogate.

In the absence of Reece Tomlinson and Jack Ward, Jack Banks gets his first start in the second row and Sam Russell returns at inside centre. Oga Mabaya and Mark Murray deservedly keep their places after impressive performances last week and Sam Whyte returns at scrum half.

Sale Shark’s Tahir El Mahidi is back after missing last week through illness and new signing from National 1 Wharfedale, Scott Jordan makes his debut on the wing.

Scott is an exciting addition to the Hoppers ranks, starting for the Yorkshire side in all eleven games this season and their joint top try scorer with three tries plus conversions.

He has had a good try scoring record with the ‘Dalesmen’, crossing the line fourteen times last season which was twice as many touch downs as any of his other team mates. Scott’s other former clubs include North East England’s West Hartlepool and Westoe.

The bench is also strengthened in the shape of Jack Walker and Billy Woof.

1 Oga Mabaya, 2 Phil Mills, 3 Pete Altham, 4 Jack Banks, 5 Ally Murray, 6 Andy Napier, 7 Will Lees, 8 Chris Taylor, 9 Sam Whyte, 10 Lewis Allen, 11 Tahir El Mahidi, 12 Sam Russell, 13 Phil Baines (Captain), 14 Scott Jordan, 15 Mark Murray.


16 Brad Tuff, 17 Tom McGuinness, 18 Jack Walker, 19 Harry Moulding, 20 Billy Woof.

Luctonians have announced the following team and set of replacements:

1 Anthony Marfell, 2 Jordan Street, 3 Richard Jones, 4 Daniel Smith, 5 John Kelly, 6 Samuel Jones, 7 Matthew Hackley, 8 Costica Dima, 9 Ben Williams, 10 Will Burton, 11 Alex Rumsey, 12 George Catanoiu, 13 Geraint Langdon, 14 Jimmy Norris, 15 Joseph Doyle.


16 Ashley Horner, 17. Christopher Jaques, 18. Aiden Cheshire, 19. Bradley Talbot, 20. Brett Prior


Preston Grasshoppers welcome Luctonians RUFC with their travelling band of supporters to Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday where Garth Dew will be hoping his charges can achieve a much needed victory. Hoppers run of three defeats and teams below them picking up points over the last few weeks sees them sinking dangerously close to the relegation zone. Whilst it’s early days to be talking of ‘must win’ games, four or five points this weekend will ease the situation somewhat.

The large contingent of travelling supporters who made the journey to Harrogate last Saturday witnessed a game in which Hoppers failed to cross the try line for the second week in succession. This must be a worry for the coaching staff although Mark Murray’s solid performance in a return to 1st XV action, Chris Taylor’s usual Man of the Match performance and Oga Mabaya’s presence gives encouragement for the up and coming games.

Having moved through the Midland’s Leagues, Luctonians seem to have settled in at Level 4 and are currently playing their fifth season at this level although the current term is their least successful to date and sees them languishing with Hoppers at the bottom end of the league table. Both clubs will be looking to turn things around during the coming weeks and finish in the top half once again.

Up until last season, Lightfoot Green must have been one of their least favourite venues, the home side averaging over fifty points from the three previous meetings at Lightfoot Green but things were turned round on their last visit when Luctonians gained their first victory. Earlier in the season Hoppers ended a run of three unsuccessful visits to the Herefordshire ground, recording their first ever victory at that particular venue albeit by a single point.

The full record of meetings between the two clubs reads, four victories to Preston Grasshoppers whilst our visitors have recorded three wins with one fixture at Mortimer Park ending all square.

HarrogateHoppers players line up for the silent tribute at Harrogate RUFC’s Armed Forces Day Ceremony

Pictures courtesy of Colin Taylor.

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