FANS on social media are putting the case that Oldham’s win at Hull KR was the biggest Challenge Cup upset of all time.
A massive claim, but consider these: Oldham were 25-1 outsiders; they were given 42 points start by the bookies; they were away at one of the most intimidating venues in Super League; less than eight months ago Hull KR were in last year’s final at Wembley in front of 80,000 fans — and two weeks later Roughyeds played Oxford away in League One, watched by 246 diehards.
Eight who played at Wembley — Sio, Dixon, Blair, Tilse, Lunt, Walker, Donaldson and Boudebza — were in the Robins’ 17-man squad on Saturday.
Moreover, the injury-hit part-timers, with a forward (Sammy Gee) and a half-back (Danny Grimshaw) in the centre spots, beat full-time opponents for the second game in a row.
Other Oldham cup wins against the odds in the last 30 years were the Paddy Kirwan tie of 1987 against Wigan at Watershedings (10-8) and — three years later — the super 16-4 win at Widnes in the 1990 quarter-final when second division Rougheds were up against the then World Club Champions.
Described by coach Scott Naylor as “a huge win for the club”, Saturday’s latest upset will be featured tonight on BBC’s North-West Tonight TV programme. starting at 6.30pm.
The sixth-round draw (last 16) will be made on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ slot on Thursday at 8.30am.
Going into the hat will be Championship sides OLDHAM, Dewsbury Rams, Batley Bulldogs and Halifax, League One side Toulouse Olympique and Super League clubs Warrington Wolves, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC, Wigan Warriors, Widnes Vikings, St Helens, Castleford Tigers, Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants.
The only Super League side already out are Hull KR, last year’s beaten finalists.
Oldham’s home game against Bradford Bulls, postponed on March 6 and provisionally rearranged for Sunday, May 8, will have to be rescheduled again because of Roughyeds’ involvement that weekend in the Challenge Cup.
In another alteration to the busy schedule, the Halifax game at The Shay on Sunday, May 22 has been brought forward to Friday night, May 20 (8pm) because Halifax FC are at Wembley on the Sunday and operational staff who work for both clubs at The Shay will be at Wembley with them.
Amended fixtures for the next few weeks:
Sat, April 23, Whitehaven (a), 6.30pm; Sun, May 1, Featherstone Rovers (h), 3pm;
Sun, May 8, Ladbrokes Challenge Cup; Sunday, May 15, Leigh Centurions (h), 3pm; Friday, May 20, Halifax (a) 8pm.
The funeral service for Dick Cracknell, Oldham’s wing star of the 1950s, will be at 11.15am tomorrow (Tuesday) at Huddersfield Crematorium.