Cup tie v Wolves on Sat, May 7

OLDHAM RL Club’s tasty cup-tie against Super League heavyweights Warrington Wolves has been arranged for Bower Fold on Saturday week, May 7 (3pm kick-off).

Sandwiched between Championship home games against Featherstone Rovers this Sunday (May 1) and Leigh Centurions two weeks later (May 15), the sixth-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie gives Roughyeds three consecutive pay days as a financial buffer for the long list of away games to follow.

Scott Naylor’s men hit the road for five league games in a row, including their Summer Bash clash with Swinton Lions in Blackpool, and don’t appear at Bower Fold after May 15 until Whitehaven visit on June 26.

The cup-tie will be staged on Saturday week because of anticipated operational problems on the Sunday (May 8) when Athletic are at home to Coventry City, kicking off at 12.30pm on the last day of the Football League season.

Explained Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “We have operational staff, including stewards, turnstile operators and others, who also work for Athletic.

“To play on the same day we would have had to kick off late, so to avoid any issues in that regard we have opted to play on the Saturday.”

Normal admission prices will apply; adults £14, concessions £12, under-16s £3 to stand; adults £17, concessions £14, under-16s £5 to buy a seat.

The tie will not be all-ticket, but Roughyeds will arrange for their seat season-ticket holders to be given the opportunity to reserve their usual seats, details and more big-match information to be announced soon.

Oldham’s 14-6 defeat at Whitehaven, coupled with Swinton’s fourth win in a row at Batley, places Roughyeds in the bottom two for the first time.

A performance in which they lacked the energy they displayed in beating Batley, Sheffield and Hull KR in their previous three games was capped off near the end when Gary Middlehurst was sin-binned for a high shot and Danny Langtree was carried off with an ankle injury which will be assessed at training tomorrow.

It was in keeping with the rest of the game that there wasn’t time for Oldham to form the scrum when Lewis Palfrey kicked a superb 40-20 at the end only for the final hooter to sound immediately.

Workington are marooned at the bottom of the Championship with two points, then come Oldham with six behind Whitehaven, Swinton, Dewsbury and Sheffield, all on eight.

Roughyeds have a game in hand on Swinton, Dewsbury and Sheffield (Bradford Bulls at home, postponed in March) and a better for-and-against record than Workington, Whitehaven and Swinton.

Dewsbury and Sheffield have been dragged into the so-called mini-league at the lower end of the Championship, although Oldham losses at Workington, Swinton and Whitehaven put Scott Naylor’s men under pressure to turn the tables when those clubs come to Bower Fold later in the season.

A home win against Featherstone this Sunday, to reverse the 20-6 defeat at Post Office Road in February, would also come in handy to keep Roughyeds in touch with the teams immediately above them.

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