HAVING beaten Oldham at Easter, Swinton Lions expect a Roughyeds backlash in Sunday’s televised Summer Bash derby at Blackpool (3pm kick-off).
Describing it as “a massive game for both clubs”, Lions boss John Duffy said: “Oldham will come at us hard from the start. I don’t think there will be a lot in it. Whoever turns up on the day will win.”
Lions duo Josh Barlow and Zach Johnson, both sent off in a heavy home defeat by Leigh last weekend, will be free to play because their cases won’t go before the RFL’s disciplinary body until next week.
Centre Macauley Hallett has cleared a two-match ban so he will be available again, as will prop Jordan Hand, who has been cleared to play after a six-week lay-off with knee trouble.
Back-row forward Rob Lever will also stake a claim after recovering from injury, while on-loan youngsters Gabriel Fell (full-back) and 11-try Liam Marshall (wing), both from Wigan Warriors, will be strongly fancied to play after being left out of the game against Leigh.
“We’ve got some big choices to make, so we hope to get the selection right !”, added Duffy.
“We have the advantage of having played at Summer Bash last year when we were in the ‘iproSport’ cup final. There was a great atmosphere and it was a special day for the fans. I guess we’ll know what to expect this time.
“More recently, our home win against Oldham turned our season on its head and was the catalyst for a few wins on the trot, but we’ve had it tough in the past couple of weeks with heavy defeats by Bradford and Leigh.
“Oldham have also played a lot of tough games in the same period, but over the course of the season I think they’ve been more consistent than us.
“They’re strong right across the board. Gareth Owen is always a threat, as is Gary Middlehurst. They’ve got some big lads too so it’s going to be a tough encounter.
“There’s a lot riding on this game because every league point we get is priceless this year. That will apply to Oldham as well.”
+ AHEAD of Summer Bash, Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton will be a studio guest of BBC Radio Manchester tonight between 7pm and 8pm.
+ Tickets for Summer Bash are on sale at Whitebank from 9.30am to 1.30pm today and from 9.30am to 4pm tomorrow.
+ The Oldham game will be televised live and screened on Sky Sports 3 (2.55pm) but only via the red button. You will be in the company of Brian Carney, Paul Cullen, Rod Studd, Jon Wells and Terry O’Connor.
+ Big-match referee Warren Turley will be handling Oldham for the third time in six matches.
+ Richard Lepori will have a scan on his damaged shoulder tomorrow, while Jon Ford will have an injection next Thursday into the knee that has kept him out for several months.