Otley trip for 1st XV

Date: 25 September 2018

Otley vs. Preston Grasshoppers

Preston Grasshoppers will be looking to put an end to their current run of two consecutive defeats and add to their only success this season which was at home to Fylde when they visit old rivals Otley at their Cross Green ground this coming Saturday.

Losing last week’s game against Sedgley Park put an end to Hoppers winning run of home games which stretched back to the beginning of last season’s victory over Wirral. Prior to last Saturday, their previous defeat at Lightfoot Green had been in the final game of the 2016/17 relegation season at the hands of Wharfedale. However, Hoppers win against Fylde a few weeks ago broke the long standing “Winning Sequence Record” of thirteen home games which was set way back during the 1983/84 season. Add to this the eleven other club records that were broken last season and it’s been a very successful period for Arnie, his coaching & support team not forgetting all the players who have also made it possible.

Our hosts have played just one home game so far this season in which they beat fellow Yorkshire side Huddersfield by a margin of six points. Last week they travelled to local rivals Wharfedale where they came away with the spoils from another narrow victory. The previous week they lost heavily at Sedgley Park and to complete the picture lost on the opening day of the season at Fylde by twenty four points to fourteen which was something of a recovery after finding themselves two dozen points down in quick time.

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 when the Yorkshire side did the double over Hoppers. This was to be for just one year, with Otley gaining 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 through into the “Leagues” period.

The records show that there have been forty eight previous games played between the two clubs with this Saturday’s opponents holding a slender lead of just one victory plus one match being drawn ten points each back in the 1994/95 season and five others being cancelled. Amongst the games that have been played, League encounters number just fourteen with seven victories credited to each side.

Just a reminder that the 1869 Club are running a coach to the game with a lunch stop en route. The party will leave the clubhouse at 10:45 but anyone who wants to be picked up on the A59 after the M6 Tickled Trout junction can be accommodated if they contact the General Office who will pass the message on.

Team News

Hoppers side for the trip to Otley shows 2 changes to the starting lineup with Jack Edwards replacing Paul Arnold who drops to the bench and Brad Cave taking the place of the injured Scott Jordan. The bench sees the return of Alex Ward after a week on loan at Rossendale last week.

1. Oga Mabaya
2. PJ Millea (C)
3. Peter Altham
4. Ally Murray
5. Luke Procter
6. Jack Edwards
7. Oliver Trippier
8. Matthew Lamprey
9. James Gough
10. Thomas Davidson
11. Conor Trueman
12. James Fitzpatrick
13. Sam Stott
14. Tyler Spence
15. Brad Cave

16. Connor Johnson
17. Ryan Wilkinson
18. Paul Arnold
19. Jake Squirell
20. Alex Ward

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