IF Kenny Hughes plays against Bradford Bulls at Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm) it will be his 100th Oldham appearance.
Like Phil Joy, Michael Ward and Danny Langtree before him, the 26-year-old hooker from St Helens is set to reach his ton-up milestone in Roughyeds colours after spending his entire senior career at the club, although he was in the Saints’ academy with ‘Langers’ before seeking pastures new.
All four spent their first two years at Whitebank in the reserves, reaching two grand finals under the stewardship of first John Hough and then Paul Ashton.
Add up the collective contributions of the fab four since Scott Naylor took charge in the autumn of 2012 and you’ve got to conclude that every penny invested in that long-gone second team was money well spent.
“They were good days,” recalled Hughes. “But all that seems a long time ago. We’ve much bigger challenges on our plate now and although we had a bad day at Batley we’ll be determined to respond positively against the Bulls.
“We can turn them over if we stick to our game plan and be a bit cleverer with the ball. For some reason, we don’t seem able to stick to what we set out to do.
“We were close to beating Featherstone, London Broncos and Rochdale. We could have won all three on another day. In the derby clash we just needed to be a bit smarter in the last few minutes.
“We’ve had two poor games, at Hull KR and Batley, but it will come right; it has to.
“From last week, we’ve just got to dust ourselves down and get on with it.
“We have a good team, a good set of lads and a lot of ability in the side, but we need to be more clinical and to tighten up defensively.
“Batley made a lot of mistakes in the early part of last week’s game, but we didn’t capitalise on them.
“We might be trying too hard to score on every play instead of building pressure and going for back-to-back sets. As long as we have the ball they can’t score.
“If we play like we did against London in our last home league game we’ll have a good chance of turning Bradford over.
“We’ll be giving it everything we’ve got, you can bank on that.”
Fans are reminded that Summer Bash tickets and discounted tickets for the fifth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie at Featherstone on Sunday, April 23 will be on sale BEFORE Sunday’s game, as will replica shirts and other club merchandise.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WHETHER YOU’RE PAYING FOR TICKETS OR MERCHANDISE IT WILL BE CASH OR CHEQUE ONLY.
Our season-ticket holders are urged to pick up their FREE Summer Bash tickets, seat holders from the main reception at Bower Fold between 1.30pm and 2.45pm and standing pass holders from the shop inside the ground near the social club from 2pm to 2.45pm. In all cases season passes need to be produced.
Summer Bash tickets for the Saturday, May 27, are going so well that the RFL are predicting a South Stand sell-out on the day we play derby rivals Rochdale Hornets, kicking off at 2.30pm.
Fans are advised to finalise their plans as early as possible, which will be the loud-and-clear message the RFL put out when they visit Bower Fold this Sunday to promote the Summer Bash weekend. You can have your pictures taken on a specially-designed Summer Bash background.
Fans can also make huge savings on the Featherstone Cup tie if they buy early-bird tickets, which will also be available this Sunday.
Purchased BEFORE April 19 (sit or stand): Adults £12, concessions £8, juniors £5; AFTER April 19: Adults £18, concessions £12, juniors £5.
Chris, Scott, ‘Spanner’ and the boys hope to see you Sunday. If the game is half as good as our last home league game against the Broncos it will be a cracker.