Missed opportunity

Michael Ward

OLDHAM missed a golden opportunity to tighten their grip on Championship consolidation when beaten 32-30 by lowly Workington Town at Bower Fold.

Town’s third win in a row lifted them off bottom spot and above neighbours Whitehaven, with Oldham finishing third bottom at the end of the 23-match regular season.

After nine years of third-tier rugby, Roughyeds would have taken that at the beginning of the season, but with better results against the bottom two —-two points from eight —- they would have been virtually assured by now of Championship survival in their first year up at this level.

As it is, they have three more points than both Cumbrian clubs, who they have still to play again at Bower Fold among their seven fixtures in the Championship Shield in which all results and points accrued count towards the final Championship table.

Oldham will play Workington, Whitehaven and Sheffield Eagles at home and Bradford Bulls, Halifax, Dewsbury Rams and Swinton Lions away.

The full fixtures for all eight clubs in the Shield, with dates and kick-off times, will be announced by the RFL on Wednesday, prior to a media launch at Old Trafford later that day,

It all starts on the weekend of Sunday, August 7, running on Sundays throughout August and most of September, with the exception of round four which will be played on Bank Holiday Monday, August 29 — two days after the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

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