THERE will be a spy in the camp — Kells coach Peter Smith — when Oldham RL play Workington Town at Derwent Park on Sunday.
Roughyeds confirmed today that their fourth-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against Cumbrian amateurs Kells will be at Bower Fold on Sunday week, March 20 (kick-off 3pm).
Simultaneously, Smith announced that he will drive a few miles up the Cumbrian coast this Sunday to watch his cup opponents at Workington in a key battle at the lower end of the KP Championship.
“I expect to pick up a few tips,” said the Kells boss, who has masterminded three promotions in a row to take his side from KP National Conference division three to premier division in the fastest possible time.
Along the way he has picked up two NCL coach-of-the-year awards to prepare him for his upcoming head-to-head with Oldham’s promotion-winning Scott Naylor, named top coach in League One last year.
Added Smith: “We’ll be heading to Oldham (Stalybridge) to enjoy the day, but we’ll turn up in the right frame of mind. We won’t be hiding behind anybody.”
A close friend of the Kells coach, Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton said: “Our immediate focus has to be on Workington away, but our next Bower Fold game will be sudden death against the amateurs with all the pressure on us.
“Take with a pinch of salt what ‘Smithy’ says about enjoying the day. He’ll have his lads fired up in pursuit of another cup upset.”
Oldham’s home league game against Bradford Bulls, postponed on Sunday because of a snow-bound pitch, has been provisionally rearranged at Bower Fold for Sunday, May 8 (3pm).
That Sunday has been set aside for the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, but if both teams are out of the cup by then they will play their outstanding Championship fixture instead.
Said Hamilton: “Both clubs want a Sunday game and the last thing we want is an evening game in midweek against full-time professionals.
“We’ve gone for May 8, but it will all depend on our cup results in the meantime.”