Preston Grasshoppers vs. Caldy – KO 2.30pm
Team news for this weekend:
Sean Taylor, Phil Baines, Karl Fitzpatrick, Tom Hughes, Matt Hughes, Graham Holroyd, Nathan Fowles
Andy Irving, Alan Martindale, Mark Irving, Ali Atkinson, Mark Rigbye, Matt Charters Capt, Will Bordill, Dominic Moon,
Russ Flynn, James Smith, Oga Mabaya, Chris Lowden, Mark Philips
Fullback Sean Taylor playes his fiftieth game in a Hoppers shirt this weekend. Sean joined us from Tarleton rugby club at the start of the 2009/10 season and has been almost ever-present since, only a serious injury incurred whilst playing for Lancashire U’20’s last season has restricted his appearances.
Hoppers Previous coach Alex Keay played Sean on the wing and in his first season he crossed the line just three times. However new coach Dave Baldwin, after a suggestion from his predecessor saw the youngster in the full-back position and Sean made the number 15 shirt his own making defence splitting runs and scoring ten tries last season culminating with being awarded last season’s Young Player of the Year.
Such has been the youngsters progress within the team, the Rugby Management made the decision to award Sean Vice Captaincy, a position he celebrated last week at Loughborough in scoring his first try of the season
Hoppers open their home League campaign with another tough fixture after last weeks encounter against The Students. The home team will be keen to avenge the drubbing received at the end of last season when the Hoppers squad was down to the bare bones.
The Inaugural senior game against this week’s visitors was a pre-season warm-up fixture here at Lightfoot Green in prior to the 2004/5 season. Caldy had climbed the league ladder with a succession of promotions from the depths of South Lancashire and Cheshire 3, eventually gaining promotion to N2N as Champions of North 1 in 2007.
There have been eight league games between the two clubs in consecutive seasons since Caldy’s last promotion, Hoppers being successful three times in this period. Strangely enough, all of which by a four-point margin!
Comings and goings from Caldy over the summer have seen second row Nick King join the Wirral outfit from Fylde but the loss of Gav Woods to Macclesfield will be a major loss.
After different pre-season results, a narrow defeat at the hands of National 1 Macclesfield and comfortable victory over National 3 North Chester, Caldy got their league season off to a flyer with an impressive home win against Nuneaton.
There is to be a Past Players Lunch before this week’s game against Caldy and it isn’t too late if you want to join the party. Simply contact Bill Bailey or the Office.
Other games being played at Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday with a 2.15 KO are:
Hoppers 5th’s vs. Bolton 3rd’s
Hoppers 6th’s vs. Garstang 2nd’s
Next week sees the First XV make the short trip to Kendal for the local derby at Mint Bridge. The same day, England open their World Cup campaign against Argentina, a game you can watch in the Clubhouse on the big screen. An exciting package for the day has been organised. You can watch the England game then have a full Breakfast/Brunch before taking the 1869 Club coach to Kendal, all for Just £15. Contact the office for more details or add your name to the list on the Notice board. Supporters wishing to simply travel by coach to Kendal can also add their names to the list. The cost of this presently stands at £10 but depending on numbers this may be reduced.
Link to ground directions if your not travelling on the 1869 Club coach: http://www.kendal-rugby.com/index.php/get-in-touch/how-to-find-us/53-how-to-find-us
For those supporters not travelling to watch the Firsts, there’s a selection of games being played at Lightfoot Green, why not come along and take a look. There will also be food available, and of course the bar’s open.