Sandal vs. Preston Grasshoppers – 2nd October 2021, Kick Off 3:00pm
Preston Grasshoppers head to Yorkshire once again this coming Saturday to Sandal’s Standbridge Lane ground for their second away game of the season, hoping to carry on from where they left off last weekend.
Whilst Hoppers were running out comfortable winners against Macclesfield last Saturday, our host suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of fellow Yorkshire side and current table-toppers Otley. After scoring over seventy points the previous week, Sandal suffered a similar tally in defeat last Saturday.
Hoppers moved up to third place in the table after last weeks victory whilst Sandal’s defeat dropped them down below mid table, our hosts have an even record so far this season with victories over North Premier newcomers Northwich and Burnage but losing to Alnwick and Otley.
The home side have made a somewhat faltering start to the season which doesn’t reflect their form when the 2019/20 season came to an unexpected curtailment. They would have felt very unfortunate in the circumstance as they were in a rich vein of form at the time, winning their last seven games but just missing out on promotion.
Many Hoppers supporters will recall their last visit to Sandal on the opening game of the 2017/18 season when a last minute try courtesy of Matt Lamprey, converted by Jake Squirrell (both on debut), gave the visitors a narrow twenty six to twenty four points victory. Even more memorable for many Hoppers members would be back at the end of the 1998/1999 season when victory over the Yorkshire side sealed promotion to National 1 for the very first time. This also being Hoppers first victory over Sandal in Yorkshire after four failed attempts. Three coachloads of supporters made the trip that day and whilst not the same numbers will be travelling over the Pennines this weekend, you can guarantee there’ll be the usual large band of supporters making the trip.
The first meeting between Preston Grasshoppers and Sandal took place nearly twenty five years ago with a club fixture taking place at Lightfoot Green on the 3rd of April 1993 when Hoppers ran out the victors by twelve points to the visitors three. A return fixture was made for the following season over in Yorkshire where the home side ran out narrow winners by four points in forty four.
The clubs didn’t meet the following season but came up against each other for the first time in league action on the 21st of October at Sandal where the home side won on the day by sixteen points to five.
All told there have been thirteen meetings between Hoppers and Sandal with ourselves having the advantage by eight to four, winning the last six. There’s also been one drawn match between the two clubs, thirteen points all. Amongst these games there have been eleven league matches in which Hoppers have won seven to Sandal’s three plus drawn encounter.
An interesting fact regarding our opponents is noted in Malcolm Crane’s book, “The Rugby Clubs of England” with reference to how they decided on the colour of their shirts. Malcolm writes that initially the club played in green and white hoops, but changed to their current maroon gold and white in 1930 when at a meeting to decide on these particular colours the committee sat at a table covered in a maroon cloth on which was placed a gold and white packet of Wills cigarettes!
A copy of this most fascinating book which reflects the history of numerous rugby clubs around the country can be purchased from the Hoppers Club Shop.
The 1869 Club are running a coach for supporters this Saturday, departing Hoppers Clubhouse at 10:15 and taking lunch at a suitable hostelry en-route. As usual anyone is welcome on the trip with the coach fare £20 and just £5 for accompanied juniors. The return journey to Preston will commence approximately an hour after the final whistle with an expected arrival home around 7pm.
- Oga MABAYA
- Chris TAYLOR (C)
- Pete ALTHAM
- Luke PROCTER
- Ewan NAYLOR
- Ally MURRAY
- Sam GALE
- Matt LAMPREY
- Jake SQUIRREL
- Ben PEARSON
- Rob MEADOWS
- Ben DORRINGTON
- Sam STOTT
- Craig PROCTER
- Jordan DORRINGTON
- Olli TRIPPIER
- Toby HARRISON
- Tyler Spence