Otley at Christmas for 1st XV

Date: 17 December 2014

Jack Ward scores the decisive try earlier in the season at Otley after a flowing move started from deep.

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Otley – Kick Off 2.30pm

Team News

Hoppers coach Garth Dew makes just one change to the pack from last week with Rich Morton taking his usual place in the front row, but the back line is shuffled in an effort to regain a cutting edge.

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

Replacements: 16. Alan Holmes, 17. Danny Madden, 18. Jack Walker, 19. Harry Reddick 20. Mark Murray.

Otley have announced the following side for Saturday;

1. Jason Moss, 2. Ben Steele, 3. Adam Blades, 4. Declan Dunn (Captain), 5. Samuel Cook, 6. Jack Scott Paul, 7. Matthew Heaton, 8. Freddie Watson, 9. Stephen Depledge. 10. James White, 11. Alexander Beaumont, 12. Mike Coady, 13. Kristian Sharples, 14. Harry Hudson, 15. Arnold Ellison,


16. George Burkinshaw, 17. Jonathan Stannard, 18. Joseph Armitage, 19. Mark Chivers, 20. Nazir Karim.


Preston Grasshoppers will be desperate to end their losing run of games this Saturday when they entertain an Otley side from over the Pennines who are currently in their one hundred and fiftieth year of existence and Hoppers oldest adversaries from the current crop of clubs in National 2 North.

Hoppers have just the single victory over Luctonians to show from their last seven outings whilst the Yorkshire side are struggling to gain victories on their travels losing the last four, but they come into this Saturday’s game on the back of an impressive seven try victory over Sedgley Park last weekend at Cross Green.

Earlier this season, Hoppers ran out winners in Yorkshire in their first away game with the home side coming on strong in the final stages.

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 with twenty three wins to their credit over their Yorkshire rivals twenty. One match has been drawn and five cancelled.

Photo by kind permission of Mike Forshaw.

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