Otley away for 1st XV

Date: 10 September 2014

John Embelton looks to beat the Hull defence

Team News

Garth Dew’s selections for the trip to Cross Green shows a number changes from last weeks squad.

In come the ‘Jacks’, Ward & Walker whilst Brad Tuff and John Peterson move up from the bench along with Lloyd Davies. Moving in the opposite direction are Phil Mills and Lewis Allen.

Additions to the twenty from the Hull game are Danny Madden and Harry Moulding.

1 John Peterson, 2 Brad Tuff, 3 Pete Altham, 4 Reece Tomlinson, 5 Ally Murray, 6, Will Lees, 7 Jack Walker, 8 Chris Taylor, 9 Sam Kindred, 10 Lloyd Davies, 11 Sam Kendall, 12 Jack Ward, 13 Phil Baines (Captain),14 Conor Trueman, 15 John Embleton


16 Phil Mills, 17 Danny Madden, 18 Richard Morton 19 Harry Moulding, 20 Lewis Allen

Otley vs. Preston Grasshoppers- Kick Off 3.00pm

After a narrow opening week defeat to Hull RUFC it’s off to Yorkshire this coming Saturday for the encounter against long standing opponents Otley and with the 1869 Club’s band of supporters confirmed as travelling to give their support the 1st XV will be looking to get a first win of the season.

Otley have lost their influential stand off and goal kicker Mark Ireland to Darlington Mowden Park plus former captain and lock forward Simon Willet to near neighbours Wharfedale but in return have recruited Harry Hudson and Mark Durpledge together with coach David Franks during the closed season.

Ireland will be a big loss as was seen when we last played at Cross Green when the home side sorely missed someone who could both kick goals and clear their lines plus he kept them in the game at Lightfoot Green earlier in the season with his goal kicking, all of their twenty two points apart from the penalty try.

After a narrow 25-23 win last week at Birmingham Solihull, Otley will be in confident mood ahead of the fixture.

Last season’s encounters ended with a double for the Hoppers over the Crossgreeners. The narrowest of victories in Yorkshire with the home team missing a conversion to which would have won the game in the last minute. Earlier in the season, Hoppers ran out comfortable five try winners at Lightfoot Green and as mentioned earlier, only the boot of ex. Kendal’s Mark Ireland keeping the visitors in the game.

Before relegation at the end of the 2010/11 season into National 2 North, Otley had lived in the upper levels of league rugby since gaining promotion at the end of the 1990/91 season from the Courage Division 4 North. When our two clubs met at Lightfoot Green that season, Hoppers came out on top by sixteen points to four. Hoppers and Otley next met in league action during our first season at Level 3 rugby in 1999/2000. This was to be for just one year, as Otley gained promotion once again.

The playing record between this week’s opponents goes way back to April 1929 when Otley played Hoppers whilst they were on an Easter tour. The home team ran out winners that day but suffered a comprehensive defeat the following season at Otley’s Cross Green ground against what was thought to be one of the strongest sides in Yorkshire.

There was then a considerable gap in time before the two clubs met again, but once that happened in 1961, games were played each season into the “Leagues” period.

The records show Preston Grasshoppers having the edge in victories, and thanks to last seasons have twenty two wins to their credit over their Yorkshire rivals twenty. One match has been drawn and five cancelled.

Photo by kind permission of Mike Craig.

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