Trip to Lucs for 1st XV

Date: 02 November 2016

Luctonians vs. Preston Grasshoppers – Kick Off 2.15pm

After making a long journey up into the North East for their last away fixture, Preston Grasshoppers make the equally long trip south into rural Herefordshire this coming Saturday where they’ll meet Luctonians at their Mortimer Park ground.

After coming out on the wrong end of yet another close contest last Saturday, this time at the hands of South Leicester and a reverse which dropped Hoppers down to third from bottom in National 2 North, the travellers will be hoping for a change in fortune and a result similar to their victory at that particular venue when they last met on the same weekend during November 2015.
At this juncture last season a Hoppers victory pulled them away from the danger area but left the home side firmly rooted to the bottom of the league table. However this particular defeat stirred Luctonians to far better performances resulting with them finishing in the top half of the league come the end of April, winning fourteen and drawing one game from their remaining twenty outings.

South Leicester added to Hoppers woes last Saturday, inflicting yet another narrow defeat upon their hosts. Hoppers have now lost by six or less points in five of their last six games, with only the comprehensive home victory over Hinckley breaking the sequence.

Hoppers had their chances to turn things round during the second half last week but failed to do so. It must be said that with a four try to one margin our visitors would have felt rather undeserving had Lewis’ long range Penalty Kick not swerved to the right of the upright at the last minute during injury time.

Hoppers have had mixed fortunes at Mortimer Park in the few fixtures played there between the two sides. After losing on their first two visits they managed to first draw one before gaining their first victory three seasons ago and then came away with their second success last time out.

Having moved through the Midland’s Leagues, Luctonians are currently playing their seventh season at this level and have certainly seen a change in fortune since our meeting there last November.

Our hosts currently sit comfortably in mid table with twenty two points collected through very comprehensive home victories over Harrogate and Wharfedale whilst on the road they won on the opening day at Sheffield Tigers’ Dore Moor and the next time they took to their travels with a very creditable although narrow victory over Leicester Lions. Their defeats have come at the hands of Stourbridge and Chester on home soil whilst last week’s defeat at Caldy is accompanied by reverses at Sale and Sedgley Park.

The full record of meetings between the two clubs reads, six victories to Preston Grasshoppers whilst our hosts have recorded five wins, plus the one previously mentioned drawn fixture at Mortimer Park.

Finally a couple of Statistical headlines well worth a mention in that there will be significant Milestones reached for both Phil Mills with one hundred appearances, and Oga Mabaya fifty when they next pull on a Preston Grasshoppers First Fifteen jersey.

Pictures courtesy of Mike Craig – Pete Altham powers his way over the South Leicester try line, ably assisted by his two second row partners.

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