Apart from just one change in the second row, Richard Morton replacing the injured Mark Philips, Hoppers name the same starting line-up as last Saturday. The bench takes a shuffle with some players being given a run-out in the Seconds. However, a new face to Hoppers supporters will be Andrew Thornley a recruit from Sale Sharks Academy.
Thornley came through the Wigan RL Academy before playing Super League at Salford then helped Leigh to the Northern Rail Trophy.
15. Sean Taylor, 14. Matt Hughes, 13. Owen McKenna, 12. Russ Flynn, 11. Phil Baines, 10. Graham Holroyd, 9. Nathan Fowles, 1. Andy Irvine, 2. Alan Martindale, 3. Chris Lowden, 4. Richard Morton, 5. Ali Atkinson, 6. Matt Charters Capt, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Dominic Moon.
Hoppers will be hoping to extend their winning sequence at the end of another long journey south, this time to the rural setting of Mortimer Park the home of Luctonians. This will be just the second visit to the Herefordshire ground, last season’s journey resulting in a comprehensive victory to the home team although not by as big a margin as Luctonians suffered on their first ever visit to Lightfoot Green earlier in the season.
Last weeks record victory over Harrogate, beating a 34 points to 6 win back in September 1955 at the Lea Ground, extended the home teams undefeated run to five games.
Man of the match against Harrogate Matt Hughes’ hat trick took him back to the top of the National 2 try-scoring table. The trio gives him the same total of League tries as his fellow Welshman Tom Hughes with 32, although Matt has scored his in 16 fewer games.
Whilst talking about point’s gatherers, mention must be made of Graham Holroyd who has climbed to third spot in the League’s goal kicking charts with 77 points
Luctonians currently sit in second place in the league table just three points ahead of Hoppers who like the home team share an undefeated home record. They beat their last home opponents Harrogate by a similar score line to Hoppers last Saturday, although the visitors to Mortimer Park didn’t manage a try that day, something Hoppers Head Coach Dave Baldwin will have taken note of. Luctonians have also defeated Westoe at home by a similar margin as Hoppers did, but had a very comfortable victory margin against Leicester Lions probably at a time that the visitors were still suffering from their opening day drubbing at the hands of Harrogate.
All in all, there promises to be a contest between two equally matched teams.
For those supporters who are not making the long journey south, there’s a selection games being played at Lightfoot Green, all with a 3pm kick off time. The undefeated 2nd XV can guarantee some entertaining rugby, even if some of them take time off on the sidelines during the game! Why not come along and add your support.
Hoppers 2nds vs. Penrith 2
Hoppers 3rds vs. Wilmslow 2
Hoppers 4ths vs. Fylde 3
The next home game for the First XV sees them entertain Nuneaton on the 29th of October with a 2.30 kick off time.
Link to ground directions if you are travelling by car to Luctonians: http://www.mortimerpark.com/location.htm