Big-match boost for Oldham


DANNY Langtree FIT; Liam Thompson FIT; Danny Grimshaw FIT.

That was the big news from Oldham RL Club’s training session last night ahead of Sunday’s relegation showdown with Whitehaven at Bower Fold (3pm).

Richard Lepori is suspended, but the only other non-starters are long-term injury victims Craig Briscoe and Sammy Gee.

The all-clear for Grimshaw, back after five weeks out with a groin problem, and for Langtree (shin) and Thompson (shoulder), both hurt at Halifax last week, is a massive boost in the build-up to a massive match.

Coach Scott Naylor also confirmed that despite Huddersfield’s Super 8s Qualifiers match at Leigh tomorrow he will again have the dual-reg facility available to him.

While obviously aware of the consequences of defeat, an upbeat Naylor was keen to push the positives and to point out that Dewsbury, Batley, Sheffield, Featherstone, Whitehaven, Swinton and Workington have all been beaten at Bower Fold this season.

He said: “We are a good team at home and we are going into the game with three more league points than them.

“We’ve had some good performances at Bower Fold and it’s up to us to go out and play like that again.

“A lot has been made of Whitehaven’s 56-12 win at Dewsbury. They played well, but I’ve watched the game and Dewsbury were absolutely shocking in the last 25 minutes so I don’t think we should read too much into that result.

“They’ve upped the tempo since they sacked the coach and they strengthened just before the deadline, but in the game before they went to Dewsbury they were beaten comfortably at home by Halifax.

“We’ve got to be positive, play it tough, reproduce the best rugby we’ve played at home this season — and maintain it for 80 minutes.”

Carl Forster, one of the four senior players in charge at Whitehaven, told the club’s local paper before their shock win at Dewsbury that Oldham were “vulnerable” and “catch-able”.

He added: “We are all upbeat and we won’t accept we are down until it is mathematically impossible to escape.”

Since their 50-plus win at the Tetley’s Stadium, interest in the Oldham game has been building steadily in West Cumbria .

They expect to have their biggest away following of the season but Naylor is confident that Oldham fans will rise to the challenge, both in numbers and in vocal support.

OLDHAM (from): Blagbrough, Burke, Chisholm, Clay, Dickinson, Files, Gill, Grimshaw, Hewitt, Hope, Hughes, Joy, Langtree, Middlehurst, Owen, Palfrey, Spencer, Thompson, Turner, Ward.

WHITEHAVEN (from): Chamberlain, Ince, Taylor, Parker, Jouffret, Aiye, Gore, Walker, Carberry, Chapelhow, Allen, Perez, Forster, Fox, Riley, Newton, Davies, McAvoy, Calvert.

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