BATTERED and bruised, Oldham RL have limped over the finishing line at the end of their first season of KP Championship rugby with several players facing a race against the clock to be ready for a return to training in November.
Craig Briscoe, whose first season at the club has been severely disrupted by a serious knee injury, is waiting for an operation to reconstruct the joint.
Kieran Gill, on long-term loan from Castleford Tigers, may need surgery to repair an old hand injury which he got while playing on loan to Oxford in a game at Toulouse.
Danny Grimshaw may need a hernia operation, but Liam Thompson (shoulder), Sammy Gee (ankle) and Danny Langtree (shin) expect to enjoy complete recovery with close-season rest and rehab.
Latest injury victims are Scott Turner, who was concussed in the 30-12 defeat at Dewsbury, and Lewis Palfrey, who was taken off near the end with a sore jaw and concerns that it might be damaged.
Head coach Scott Naylor was at the game with his two assistants, Lee Spencer and Peter Carey, but he put Spencer in charge for the day and took no more than a watching brief.
Spencer said he was disappointed with the performance, but added: “In the context of the season as a whole we’ve got to be happy with what we’ve achieved.
“We can all enjoy a good break now, I think we’ve deserved it.”
Dewsbury scored their first ten points while Richard Lepori was sin-binned for holding a man down. They dded a third try to lead 16-0 at half-time, but we got back in the game with a great solo try by Kenny Hughes which Lewis Palfrey goaled.
Lewis’s 40-20 should have keep us with the momentum, but we erred from the scrum and Rams went straight to the other end where they scored again.
Trailing 30-6 we got a late consolation try when Dave Hewitt chipped to the corner and Gill rose in the air to catch and run over the line unopposed.It finished 30-12 to Rams.
Squad building for next season is continuing with more signings expected to be announced soon.
Already signed for 2017 are Adam Clay, Turner, Jamel Chisholm, Phil Joy, Jack Spencer, Langtree, Thompson, Kenny Hughes, Grimshaw, Michael Ward and Gill.
Derby rivals Rochdale Hornets are the first League 1 club to win promotion to the Championship after their stunning 24-22 win at Toulouse Olympique.
On-loan Oldham back Jack Holmes scored two tries for Hornets, who inflicted the French side’s first League 1 defeat of the season.
Toulouse now go into a four-club play-off with Barrow, Doncaster and York for the right to join Hornets in the Championship.
It means neighbours Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale will all be in the Championship next year with Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants or Salford Red Devils coming down from Super League to replace promoted Leigh Centurions.