Trip to the Bees for 1st XV

Date: 28 January 2015

Last weeks double try scorer Phil Mills charges away leaving Bees defenders in his wake earlier this season.

Birmingham Solihull vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 2.00pm

Team News

Hoppers are without the services of Reece Tomlinson in the second row this week so Ally Murray moves back into his more usual second row berth giving Will Lees the opportunity of a starting roll. Still with the forwards, and Pete Altham returns to the front row.

The backs line is as last week with Alan Holmes and Matt Frings making up the five replacements.

1. Danny Madden, 2. Phil Mills, 3. Pete Altham, 4. Jack Banks, 5. Ally Murray, 6. Andy Napier, 7. Will Lees, 8. Chris Taylor, 9. Sam Kindred, 10. Lewis Allen, 11. Phil Baines (Captain), 12. Billy Woof, 13. Sam Russell, 14. Scott Jordan, 15. Mark Murray.

Replacements: 16. Oga Mabaya, 17. Alan Holmes, 18. Matt Frings, 19. Harry Moulding, 20. Harry Reddick.


After avenging one final play defeat last week over Sedgley Park, Preston Grasshoppers will be hoping to repeat the dose this coming Saturday at Portway against Birmingham Solihull who took the spoils with the last kick of the game at Lightfoot Green back in mid October.

The reverse game was doubly disappointing for Hoppers as they looked completely in command during the first half before ‘uncontested scrums’ came into play and changed the whole pattern of the game to which the visitors adapted the better.

Since Hoppers ended their run of defeats with the success over Stockport they have built on that victory and a narrow defeat at high flying Ampthill where they could easily have returned home with a victory was added to last week with a comprehensive home win over ‘The Tigers’

If Garth Dews squad can pick up points on there travels from the two consecutive away fixtures in the next fortnight they could be leaving any thoughts of relegation behind them.

Games against Birmingham RFC began back on the 9th of September 1967 when Hoppers travelled south defeating the home side by seventeen points to three and upsetting Birmingham’s celebrations after the opening of their new ground. A total of eleven contests took place before the amalgamation with Solihull, Hoppers winning four including the one and only league match at Portway to the Midlanders seven successes.

Games against the now defunct Solihull rugby club began on the 7th of October 1978 at Lightfoot Green with the home team beginning an undefeated run of five games against this particular opposition. These games included one drawn game and the only league meeting between the two sides a couple of seasons before the merger.

Once Birmingham Solihull was formed things went well for the Hoppers winning the first three meetings before a drawn game during the 1995/6 season turned things round, our opponents going on to win all but one of the seven games to follow until Hoppers’ two victories during 2012/13 with honours shared last term.

So if you gather all the various teams that can be associated with next weeks opponents under one collective the total of victories couldn’t be any closer with both sides having fifteen victories plus a couple of drawn encounters.

Picture courtesy of the Mike Craig.

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