Morley Preview

Date: 05 April 2018

Having successfully achieved their main aim of the season in winning an immediate return to National 2 North, Preston Grasshoppers face the Yorkshire side from Morley this Saturday who unfortunately for them will be travelling in the other direction come the end of the season.

Words by Mike Foreshaw, photo by Mike Craig

A smaller than usual attendance last Saturday due to the game with Ilkley being rearranged to a holiday Saturday, joined the end of game celebrations with Arnie, PJ, their successful charges and support team celebrating victory over Ilkley with the added bonus of becoming League Champions. The League Champions Trophy will be presented to our Skipper after the final whistle next Saturday.

Yet another Preston Grasshoppers record was surpassed at the end of the game against Ilkley when the previous total of one hundred and five league points was overtaken. With three more games still to play, and as with many other new achievements this season, there’s plenty of time for this and other tallies to be put well out of reach for  seasons to come.

The previous points total record of one hundred and five since the introduction in 2004/5 of the five points for a win and bonus points system, was achieved in the 2012/13 season. This from the thirty games played that term.

Preston Grasshoppers and Morley have met on fifteen occasions over the years, the first of these occurring back in 1954 on the 18th of September long before league rugby became the norm when the home side ran out comfortable winners twenty points to three. They next met in Preston at Hoppers Lea ground a couple of years later when the Yorkshire side were once again successful. They weren’t to play each other again for nearly twenty years when two games were played in consecutive seasons, still without any success for the Hoppers.

Almost ten more years were to elapse before regular fixtures were arranged which moved things into the ‘Leagues’ era. Hoppers first success came, not surprisingly during their most successful modern day period when Brent Horton captained a formidable set of players. A Northern Merit Table Qualifying game played at Lightfoot Green during early 1985 saw the home side defeat the Yorkshiremen by thirty eight points to sixteen.

Thanks mainly to their early successes, the full record shows Morley having the overall advantage with thirteen victories to Hoppers eight plus two further fixtures in Yorkshire being cancelled, presumably due to adverse weather conditions. However within these statistics Preston Grasshoppers have the edge in League Games, winning seven of the eleven meetings.

The 1869 Club have a poster on the noticeboard for a trip with the usual lunch stop en-route to Billingham for the last away game of the season next Saturday. As usual, everyone’s welcome with the fare £15 and accompanied juniors travelling for just £5. The coach departs Lightfoot Green at 9:30am and will leave for the return journey around an hour after the final whistle.

Here’s the line up

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