OLDHAM chairman Chris Hamilton has welcomed as a “fitting reward” the home tie against Warrington Wolves in the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Scott Naylor’s giant-killers (No 9 in the draw) were third out of the hat when the pairings were made on BBC Radio 4 this morning.
The tie, which pairs Roughyeds with one of the best and strongest sides in Super League, will be at Bower Fold over the weekend of May 6 to May 8.
Said Chris: “The tie is a fitting reward for coaches, the lads and the fans for all the hard work that went into beating Hull KR.
“This game will be a totally different proposition because Warrington are going great guns in the Super League and they will no doubt have targeted the Challenge Cup as something to win this year.
“It will be a great opportunity for everyone involved in our club to see some world-class stars up against a team of homegrown lads, local lads and, in some cases, lads whose careers were at the crossroads when they were not retained by Super League clubs.
“It’s the sort of tie they will have dreamed about — a just reward for everything they have worked so hard for.”
Three of the eight ties will be televised, two by the BBC, the other by Sky Sports.
Draw: Castleford Tigers v Salford Red Devils; OLDHAM v Warrington Wolves; Dewsbury Rams v Wigan Warriors; Batley Bulldogs v Catalan Dragons; Halifax v Widnes Vikings; St Helens v Hull; Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos; Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Toulouse Olympique.
Ahead of the cup tie, Scott Naylor’s giant-killers face a St George’s Day trip to Whitehaven (Saturday, 6.30pm kick-off) and a May Day clash with Featherstone Rovers at Bower Fold on Sunday week (3pm) — two important games in the club’s bid to consolidate in the Championship at the first attempt.
At the Recreation Ground on Saturday they go head to head with three of their former players in James Coyle (head coach), his younger brother Thomas (hooker or half-back) and back-row forward Dave Allen.
James scored 37 tries in 51 games for Roughyeds between 2007 and 2009 while Thomas ran in 15 tries in 26 outings in 2009.
James Coyle, Allen, and Danny Halliwell went on loan to Barrow half way through the 2009 season while Andy Ballard joined them on the exodus to Craven Park, in his case on a full transfer.
More recently, Thomas Coyle will be remembered as the Hunslet Hawks half-back who broke Oldham hearts by scoring the golden-point drop-goal winner, in extra time, in the Roughyeds’ 17-16 Championship One grand final defeat at Headingley in 2014.
Twelve months on and Naylor’s men achieved their promotion goal by a different route to end a nine-year stay in the sport’s third tier.
These are heady, happier days for the club who will go to Cumbria on Saturday in search of their fourth win in a row after claiming the scalps of Batley Bulldogs and Sheffield Eagles in the Championship and of Super League outfit Hull KR in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Fans can order DVD footage of the cup win — the biggest day in the 19-year history of Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd — by ringing the club on 07904898177.