HALF-BACK Danny Grimshaw is pushing to reclaim his place in an Oldham side that goes to Batley Bulldogs on Sunday (3pm) on the back of three league defeats in a row.
With nothing to show from their most recent outings against Leigh Centurions, Halifax and Swinton Lions, and now facing a spell of five games in 21 days, the pressure is on.
A groin strain kept Grimshaw out of the 25-24 Summer Bash loss to Swinton in a controversial clash at Bloomfield Road that was televised by Sky Sports.
Roughyeds could blame nobody but themselves for letting slip a 20-0 half-time lead, but in the end the result hinged on the touchjudges’ view that a Lewis Palfrey conversion was wide of the mark when TV re-runs indicated the ball passed just inside the far post.
Said coach Scott Naylor: “After what we came up with in the second half last week, we now go to one of the toughest places there is in the Championship.
“It will be a big challenge and one in which we’ll find out a lot about our players.”
Grimshaw didn’t train on Tuesday, but he got through a full session last night without adverse reaction and he will be available for selection when Naylor names his side tomorrow.
Also in contention will be Phil Joy and Steve Roper, neither of whom played against Swinton, as well as dual-reg players from partner club Huddersfield Giants.
Jared Simpson (full-back), Liam Johnson (centre) and Tyler Dickinson (prop) played last week, but Naylor has not yet released details of which young Giants will be on Roughyeds duty at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium where only Swinton have won a league match so far this year.
Batley beat Dewsbury 28-24 at Summer Bash to go third in the table thanks to game-changing substitutions in which powerful props James Brown and Tom Lillycrop came off the bench to swing the game in the Bulldogs favour.
Winger Shaun Ainscough is doubtful with an ankle injury, but dual-reg centre Greg Minikin, from Castleford Tigers, is expected to keep his place in the side.
Batley (from): Scott, Reittie, Minikin, Ulugia, Ainscough, A Brown, Southernwood, Brambani, Hirst, Leak, Gledhill, Harrison, Chandler, Blake, Walker, Lillycrop, J Brown, Mariano.
Oldham (from): Clay, Gee, Holmes, Palfrey, Owen, T Spencer, Hughes, Middlehurst, Langtree, Hope, Files, Ward, Burke, Thompson, Grimshaw, Joy, Roper plus dual-reg players.