Middlehurst: No charge

THERE will be no further action against Oldham forward Gary Middlehurst, who was sin-binned for a high tackle in the 14-6 defeat at Whitehaven.

Reporting ‘no charge’, the RFL’s Match Review Panel said a yellow card was sufficient sanction for an offence in which Middlehurst made a legitimate attempt to tackle.

Contact was made with the inner forearm to an opponent’s head, but it was not excessive, the panel concluded.

That’s good news ahead of Sunday’s clash with Featherstone at Bower Fold, the first reverse fixture of the season.

Danny Langtree (ankle) and Jamel Chisholm (ribs) are ruled out, but Kenny Hughes and Sammy Gee are back in contention, Hughes after recovering from sore ribs and Gee after having last weekend off for family reasons.

Dual-reg players from Huddersfield Giants will also be available.

Oldham (from): Lepori, Clay, Grimshaw, Holmes, Roper, Palfrey, Joy, Owen, Spencer, Middlehurst, Hope, Thompson, Ward, Files, Hughes, Gee, Burke plus dual-reg personnel.

Featherstone won 20-6 at the Big Fellas Stadium in February when Oldham were still adjusting to the higher demands of Championship rugby.

Coach Scott Naylor said: “We didn’t start well, but after ten minutes we grew in confidence and played well.

“They pushed Leigh all the way last week, so we’ll have to be at our best.”

The famous Challenge Cup trophy will be at Bower Fold on Sunday — a taster for next week’s sixth-round tie against Warrington — and fans arriving early can be photographed with the cup, which will also be on show at Whitebank next Wednesday evening for the start of summer touch-rugby.

The cup-tie next Saturday (May 7,3pm) is not all-ticket, but fans are urged to buy tickets in advance to ease congestion on the day.

They will be on sale at the Featherstone game from the ticket office next to the Bower Fold social club (as will Summer Bash tickets) and also from Whitebank next week from 9.30am each day to 1.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; to 3pm Wednesday; and to 4pm Friday.

The home game against Bradford, postponed in March because of snow, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 15 (8pm).

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