Relegation guarantees more derbies

The relegation of Fylde and Kendal means that National League Three North has an even more 'local' feel next season, with the clubs joining Preston Grasshoppers, New Brighton, Waterloo, Liverpool St Helens and Macclesfield in carrying the banner for the western side of the country.

Opponents from over the Pennines include two Darlington clubs, plus Tynedale, Halifax and Blaydon, while Dudley Kingswinford and Longton, from Stoke, represent the Midlands.

Hoppers have a testing start, away to New Brighton on September 13, and their first home game is against promoted Longton two weeks later.

Their derbies against Fylde take place on December 13 (at Ansdell) and in the last match of the season at Lightfoot Green on April 17, while they meet Kendal on November 15 (away) and January 24 (home).

Fylde begin their new life down in the unfamiliar reaches of Three North with a home game against Tynedale on September 13 and visit Kendal on December 20, with the return fixture on April 10.

Like Hoppers, Kendal have to wait until September 27 for their first home league game, when New Brighton visit Mint Bridge. The campaign kicks off at Liverpool St Helens two weeks earlier.

Orrell start their bid for promotion to the Premiership with what looks an eminently winnable home game against Wakefield. But their first two away fixtures in National One bring testing trips to major rivals Worcester and Exeter.

Promotion to North One brings Vale of Lune up against only one opponent they have never played in the league – Cleckheaton, home club of cross-code British Lion John Bentley. Vale begin with a home game against another Yorkshire club, Morley, on September 6 after warm-up games against Hoppers and Macclesfield.

HOPPERS

August 14: Rugby Lions (warm-up) (H)

August 19: Vale of Lune (warm-up) (H)

Sept 6: Longton – Powergen Cup 1 (H)

Sept 13: New Brighton (A)

Sept 20: Powergen Cup 2

Sept 27: Longton (H)

Oct 4: Powergen Cup 3

Oct 11: Halifax (A)

Oct 18: Waterloo (H)

Oct 25: Dudley Kingswinford (A)

Nov 1: Macclesfield (H)

Nov 8: Darlington (A)

Nov 15: Kendal (A)

Nov 22: Tynedale (H)

Nov 29: Blaydon (A)

Dec 6: Darlington Mowden P (H)

Dec 13: Fylde (A)

Dec 20: Liverpool St Helens (H)

Jan 3: Darlington Mowden Park (A)

Jan 10: Blaydon (H)

Jan 17:Tynedale (A)

Jan 24: Kendal (H)

Jan 31: Darlington (H)

Feb 7: Macclesfield (A)

Feb 14: Dudley Kingswinford (H)

Feb 21: Waterloo (A)

March 13: Halifax (H)

March 20: Longton (A)

April 3: New Brighton (H)

April 10: Liverpool St Helens (A)

April 17: Fylde (H)

FYLDE

Sept 6: Spalding or Market Bosworth - Powergen Cup 1 (A)

Sept 13: Tynedale (H)

Sept 20: Powergen Cup 2

Sept 27: Blaydon (A)

Oct 4: Powergen Cup 3

Oct 11: Darlington Mowden Park (H)

Oct 18: Darlington (H)

Oct 25: Liverpool St Helens (A)

Nov 1: New Brighton (H)

Nov 8: Longton (A)

Nov 15: Halifax (H)

Nov 22: Waterloo (A)

Nov 29: Dudley Kingswinf'rd (H)

Dec 6: Macclesfield (A)

Dec 13: Hoppers (H)

Dec 20: Kendal (A)

Jan 3: Macclesfield (H)

Jan 10: Dudley Kingswinford (A)

Jan 17: Waterloo (H)

Jan 24: Halifax (A)

Jan 31: Longton (H)

Feb 7: New Brighton (A)

Feb 14: Liverpool St Helens (H)

Feb 28: Darlington (A)

Mar 13: Darlington Mowden P (A)

Mar 20: Blaydon (H)

Apr 3: Tynedale (A)

Apr 10: Kendal (H)

Apr 17: Hoppers (A)

KENDAL

Sept 6: Darlington Mowden Park - Powergen Cup 1 (A)

Sept 13: Liverpool St Helens (A)

Sept 20: Powergen Cup 2

Sept 27: New Brighton (H)

Oct 4: Powergen Cup 3

Oct 11: Longton (A)

Oct 18: Halifax (H)

Oct 25: Waterloo (A)

Nov 1: Dudley Kingswinford (H)

Nov 8: Macclesfield (A)

Nov 15: Hoppers (H)

Nov 22: Darlington (A)

Nov 29: Tynedale (A)

Dec 6: Blaydon (H)

Dec 13: Darlington Mowden P (A)

Dec 20: Fylde (H)

Jan 3: Blaydon (A)

Jan 10: Tynedale (H)

Jan 17: Darlington (H)

Jan 24: Hoppers (A)

Jan 31: Macclesfield (H)

Feb 7: Dudley Kingswinford (A)

Feb 14: Waterloo (H)

Feb 28: Halifax (A)

Mar 13: Longton (H)

Mar 20: New Brighton (A)

Apr 3: Liverpool St Helens (H)

Apr 10: Fylde (A)

Apr 17: Darlington Mowden P(H)

ORRELL

Sept 6: Wakefield (H)

Sept 13: Worcester (A)

Sept 20: Plymouth (H)

Sept 27: Exeter (A)

Oct 4: Powergen Cup 3

Oct 11: Bristol (H)

Oct 18: Powergen Cup 4

Oct 25: Penzance (A)

Nov 1: Powergen Cup 5

Nov 8: Birmingham (H)

Nov 15: Coventry (H)

Nov 22: Otley (A)

Nov 29: Henley (H)

Dec 6: Bedford (H)

Dec 13: London Welsh (A)

Dec 27: Manchester (A)

Jan 10: Wakefield (A)

Jan 17: Worcester (H)

Jan 24: Plymouth (A)

Jan 31: Exeter (H)

Feb 7: Bristol (A)

Feb 14: Penzance (H)

Feb 28: Birmingham (A)

March 13: Coventry (A)

March 20: Otley (H)

April 3: Henley (A)

April 10: Manchester (H)

April 17: Bedford (A)

April 24: London Welsh (H)

VALE OF LUNE

Aug 19: Hoppers (warm-up) (A)

Aug 23: Macclesfield (warm-up) (H)

Sept 6: Morley (H)

Sept 13: West Park St Helens (A)

Sept 20: BAe Barrow – Intermediate Cup (H)

Sept 27: Aspatria (H)

Oct 4: Bradford & Bingley (A)

Oct 11: Sheffield (H)

Oct 18: Penrith (friendly) (A)

Oct 25: Chester (A)

Nov 1: Birkenhead Park (H)

Nov 8: Driffield (A)

Nov 15: Carlisle (friendly) (A)

Nov 22: Huddersfield (H)

Nov 29: Hull Ionians (H)

Dec 6: Cleckheaton (A)

Dec 13: Broughton P (friendly) (H)

Dec 20: Huddersfield (A)

Dec 26: K Lonsdale (friendly) (H)

Dec 27: Blackburn (friendly) (H)

Jan 3: Driffield (H)

Jan 10: Birkenhead Park (A)

Jan 17: Broughton P (friendly) (A)

Jan 24: Chester (H)

Jan 31: Sheffield (A)

Feb 14: Bradford & Bingley (H)

Feb 21: Aspatria (A)

Feb 28: West Park St Helens (H)

Mar 13: Morley (A)

Mar 20: Carlisle (friendly) (H)

Mar 27: Blackburn (friendly) (A)

Apr 3: Cleckheaton (H)

Apr 9: Kirkby Lonsdale (friendly) A)

Apr 10: Penrith (friendly) (H)

Apr 17: Hull Ionians (A)