Preston Grasshoppers are handed title target

Chris Roddy is in the Preston Grasshoppers team this weekend
Chris Roddy is in the Preston Grasshoppers team this weekend

Results of last Saturday’s rearranged matches mean that Preston Grasshoppers now need just 19 points from their remaining six fixtures to be sure of promotion straight back from the North Premier League.

Lymm’s challenge seems to be fading, although Hoppers still have to visit them later this month, with Harrogate (who come to Lightfoot Green next weekend) and Hull 
now the leading threats.

The first of back-to-back home games tomorrow brings Ilkley to Lightfoot Green for a first league visit.

The Yorkshiremen are ninth after eight victories and 10 defeats, including a narrow home loss, 25-29, to Preston in November.

With injuries and unavailability among the backs, Hoppers give a much-anticipated debut on the wing to Ron Meadows.

Ally Murray returns to the back row after injury and loan singing Louis McGowan makes his home debut at lock.

Vale of Lune opened up a 12-point lead over Northwich at the top of North One West last Saturday but will be frustrated this weekend after the weather claimed their trip to play eighth-placed Stockport.

The Cheshire club’s pitch is frozen and the game was called off on Thursday afternoon.

The outcome of rearranged games in National League One last weekend now mean that Fylde are a massive 27 points from safety, with only seven fixtures to fulfil – so two more defeats will confirm their relegation.

Tomorrow, they host next-to-bottom Old Albanians, one of only three sides they have beaten in 23 games – they scraped home 16-15 at St Albans in November.

That was one of 17 defeats for Albanians, alongside five victories and a draw.

Hoppers: Jordan; Meadows, Hurst, Stott, Crosley; Ward, Squirrell; Mabaya, Millea, Altham, Roddy, McGowan, A Murray, Trippier, Lamprey. Replacements: Madden, Arnold, M Murray.