Sale is home opener for 1st XV

Date: 08 September 2015

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Sale – Kick Off 2.30pm

Hoppers opening home fixture of the season sees a visit from the very much “Up and Coming” Sale FC who continue to play at Heywood Road after the departure/split from professional outfit Sale Sharks.

Both sides will be looking to get their season started after losing their opening fixtures, Hoppers in a close game at Hare Lane where both sides showed signs of early season rust and Sale suffering a similar fate against fellow Cheshire outfit Caldy.

Before a pre-season practice game at Lightfoot Green in 2013, our last fixture with the Cheshire outfit was on Good Friday at the Sale ground back in 1991 when the home team handed out a bit of a thrashing thirty points to four and although fixtures between the two clubs have been few and far between, they go a long way back with the first meeting being played at West Cliff on the 1st of November 1884 when the home side ran out winners.

Back in 1991 Hoppers lined up at Heywood Road as; Sherrin, Hindle, Llewellyn, Chesworth, Taylorson, Jackson, Percy, Bell, Carter, Lewis, Clarke, Phil Crayston, Holden, Sword & Leeming with Richard Crayston appearing as a replacement for Neil Leeming who suffered a severe injury early in the game.

Maybe the reason for Sale’s emphatic victory was due to the injuries Hoppers players suffered during the game. As well as Leeming, Hoppers lost Lloyd Bell in the second half with Sherrin, Taylorson and Jackson all leaving the field injured at the end of proceedings.

Just how this impacted on the Hoppers teams that turned out at Waterloo the following day and Upper Wharfedale two days later, heaven only knows?

Hoppers sole contributor to the scoreboard that Good Friday was Joe Hindle who will no doubt be recalling the event to his fellow team-mates at Hoppers next home game against Caldy which is preceded by a Players Reunion Lunch on Saturday 26th September.

Sale’s climb up the leagues saw them promoted from North West 1 a couple of seasons ago before moving into National 2 North as Champions of National 3 North last season. With the Cheshire sides close links with the break-away Premiership side Sale Sharks they’ll be hoping to proceed with their climb up the National Leagues.

In all, Hoppers 1st XV and Sale/Sale ‘A’ have faced each other in twelve fixtures with the Cheshire side winning on five occasions to Preston Grasshoppers eight. There have been three pre-season practice games recently with Sale & Sale Jets who have the advantage two to one, and over the years there have been three fixtures cancelled.

Photograph at the top of the page from Hoppers Archive

Line-Out action from the Hoppers vs. Sale ‘A’ game played at Faringdon Park almost 90 years ago on the 16th of October 1926 when Hoppers ran out thirty-four points to nil victors. The numbers seen on the change black shirts of the Hoppers players aren’t positional but signify the owner.

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