WITH no fewer than EIGHT players out injured, Oldham are currently fighting for Championship survival with a depleted squad that is short of numbers.
Currently on the casualty list are Jamel Chisholm (finger), Tom Ashton (knee), Craig Briscoe (knee), Danny Grimshaw (groin), Jack Spencer (hand), Richard Lepori (shoulder), Jon Ford (knee) and Will Hope (ankle).
The 42-18 defeat at Batley, the fourth league loss in a row, kept Roughyeds second from bottom, but with the exception of Dewsbury’s surprise 16-14 win at Bradford, all other weekend results went Oldham’s way with losses for Whitehaven, Workington, Sheffield and Swinton.
Swinton conceded 58 at Featherstone, Sheffield let in 60 at Halifax and Workington were hit for 50 at London Broncos, these results enforcing Oldham’s position as the club with the best for-and-against difference among the bottom few.
“We are also hoping to have some bodies back soon and that should make a big difference,” said coach Scott Naylor, who thought his injury-depleted squad put up a good fight at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
“We had no new injuries, so that’s another bonus, and there’s a chance we might have Danny Grimshaw and Will Hope back next week and, maybe, even Jack Spencer.”
Oldham go to Dewsbury Rams on Sunday, followed by a visit from Bradford Bulls on Wednesday week, June 15 and then a trip to London on Sunday, June 19 — three games in eight days including two against full-time opponents and a long trip to the capital.
Roughyeds will take comfort, though, from the fact that they have only reached the half-way point of the season, taking into account the Championship Shield matches involving the bottom eight which take the total number of games to 30.
They have still to play must-win home games against Whitehaven, Swinton and Workington, whom they will then meet again in the ‘Eights’.