Preston Grasshoppers vs. Westoe – Kick Off 2.30pm
Hoppers Team News:
Sean Taylor, Matt Hughes, Tom Hughes, Russ Flynn, Phil Baines, Graham Holroyd; Nathan Fowles, Chris Gale, Alan Martindale, Chris Lowden, Ali Atkinson, Mark Rigbye, Mark Philips, Matt Charters Capt, Dominic Moon,
Will Bordill, Phil Mills, Ally Murray, Mark Irving, and Mark Edwards
With Karl Fitzpatrick’s still not fully recovered from his foot injury and prop Andy Irving out of action, Head Coach Dave Baldwin has retained last week’s starting backs line up with Chris Gale and Lowden coming into the forwards in the front row. Ally Murray, is added to the bench while Tom Smith is given a game in the second’s after not featuring in last week’s game at Bromsgrove.
Hoppers will be hoping to build on last week’s performance where a more direct style of rugby certainly gave Bromsgrove a few headaches and was difficult to contain.
Westoe Team News
Westoe’s squad selection for this Saturday:
G Haswell, G Kerr, D Haswell, J Clark, T Banks, R Beattie, D Rundle, J Mckenzie, C Judson, F Kirkley, G Nesbitt, M Bentham, R Elliott, D Palmer,I Robinson, J Younghusband, B Frankland, I Murray, R Duff, H Richards,
Hoppers will be pleased to see the Westoe Player Coach, goal kicker and play maker in chief Mark Bedworth’s name is missing from the list.
Hoppers welcome another of last season’s top teams to Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday, carrying on what has been a very tough start to the new term.
An impressive start to the season by today’s visitors sees them head the table after home victories against Harrogate and Nuneaton plus wins on their travels at Hull and Sheffield Tigers. The only disappointment for the Wood Lane outfit so far has been a reverse after the long journey to Luctonians.
A mouth-watering prospect is on the cards for spectators as the league’s leading try scorers go head to head this weekend. Hoppers Matt Hughes and Westoe’s Tom Banks both have six tries apiece so far.
League fixtures against today’s opponents began relatively recently when the North East club, residing in South Shields, gained promotion into the National Leagues from North 1 at the end of the 2008/9 season. In the three meetings (one game being cancelled as the result would have been of no consequence) since their promotion, Hoppers won the first fixture at Wood Lane, but have lost the subsequent two games.
Club fixtures between the two clubs go back to the 1975/6 season when Hoppers won at Lightfoot Green by thirteen points to four on the 11th of October with that man Brierley’s name cropping up once again on the team-sheet. Other names that may ring a bell to those with a long memory, Mick Hill playing at fly half, current 6th team regular Graham Cox and a formidable looking back row comprising Dransfield, Leeming and Sherlock, although probably not yet matured into their pomp! Nine of the winning points came from the boot of Horton wearing the number fifteen shirt, could this be future captain Brent or more likely his brother Max?
Other games taking place this weekend at Lightfoot Green include;
Hoppers 5ths vs. Furness 2nds
Hoppers 6ths vs. Leigh 4ths
The following day sees our Senior Colts take on Fleetwood and their junior partners playing Caldy at Lightfoot Green with a 2pm Kick Off time. Come along and support the boys!
Next week sees the First XV make a journey to pastures new for the second time already this season, over in Yorkshire this time at newly promoted Sheffield Tigers. The 1869 Club hope to be running a coach to this match with the usual stop en-route for lunch, cost just £15 with accompanied Junior’s travelling for free. A 10am departure from the club car park will be made, so anyone wishing to travel should add their names to the list on the Noticeboard.
Link to ground directions if your not travelling on the 1869 Club coach: http://www.sheffieldtigers.co.uk/html/directions.html
Harrison Drury Solicitors are this weekend’s main sponsor with T.Jolly Services Ltd taking the Match Ball sponsorship. Both companies have a long history of supporting Preston Grasshoppers.