Sedgley to visit Lightfoot Green

Date: 07 September 2016

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Sedgley Park – Kick Off 2.15pm

Hoppers start their home campaign the coming Saturday with a fixture against Lancashire rivals Sedgley Park in a game which will be played on Lightfoot Green Number 2 pitch as work on the new AGP will have commenced earlier this week.

Last Saturday saw both teams get their seasons off to a winning start, Hoppers dominating their Yorkshire opponents for much of the game but only a late Conor Trueman try sealed the win for them. Park on the other hand were behind for most of their home match against Caldy before a similar late, converted try saw them home for a narrow three point victory.

Honours have been even since Sedgley Park returned to National 2 North with Hoppers winning their three home games at Lightfoot Green whilst Park have taken the spoils at their Prestwich ground. A look at the records shows Lightfoot Green not being the happiest of venues for this weekend’s visitors, with just two victories and a drawn Lancashire Cup Tie from thirteen visits for their efforts.

In the same fixture last season, Hoppers overturned Park with a narrow victory in a game during the middle of a purple patch when they lost just once in a ten match sequence. Sedgley Park exacted their revenge with a conclusive victory at Park Lane in Hoppers penultimate game of the season. The Manchester side secured the runners up place which give them the opportunity to compete with their Southern counterparts in the end of season Play off Fixture. Sedgley Park ultimately lost the game to Old Albanians by twenty four points to nil and due to their efforts last season, find themselves one of this season’s favourites in the attempt to gain promotion.

Encounters with our visitors from Greater Manchester commenced just about ten years after our move from Lea to Fulwood with an away fixture and victory by twelve points to six. Sedgley had stepped into a vacant Easter Saturday slot on the 2nd of April 1983 after Blackburn had pulled out and the event started a short run of fixtures for just three years, all of which were won by Hoppers.

The next time the two clubs met was in the first ever League fixture between the two, in a game played at Park Lane back in 1997 when Hoppers continued their winning ways with a narrow twenty points to sixteen victory. Hoppers went on to complete the double that season and it wasn’t until we played a Lancashire Cup tie at Lightfoot Green during the 2000/2001 season that “Park” achieved a victory over Preston Grasshoppers, something that was repeated in league form at the double during the following season when Hoppers were relegated from National 1. Sedgley Park however remained at Level 3 and apart from a number of Lancashire Cup ties and a pre-season fixture during 2011, the two teams hadn’t met in league action until the 2013/14 season. The playing record between Hoppers and Sedgley Park shows the current standing to be in Preston Grasshoppers favour.

The three Club games back in the 1980’s were all won by Hoppers and League wins stand in favour of Preston by seven to five whilst Lancashire Cup clashes are also in Hoppers favour by four to three. The pre-season game played at Lightfoot Green back in 2011 turned out to be a comprehensive victory for the visitors. So apart from the pre-season game, there have been twenty two competitive games in all between the two clubs, Hoppers winning fourteen to Sedgley Park’s eight.

Photograph courtesy of Wharfedale’s Ro Burridge – Harry Moulding lines up a Wharfedale attacker with debutante Captain Chris Roddy closing in.

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