BATLEY’S notorious slope will hold no fears for Oldham when they return to Kingstone Press Championship action at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium (Mount Pleasant) on Sunday.
Outside of the Bulldogs camp, few know the peculiarities of THAT pitch — and how to make the most of it — better than Roughyeds stand-off Scott Leatherbarrow, who played on it for two years as a pivotal member of the Batley side in 2014 and 2015.
More than that, he was the Bulldogs top points scorer in each of those Championship seasons.
In 2014 he made 29 appearances and totalled 141 points with five tries, 59 goals and three drop goals.
In the following year, while Roughyeds were winning promotion from League 1, Leatherbarrow was chalking up even more points for Batley —- 174 made up of 82 goals, two tries and two drop goals in 25 games.
After moving south to go full time with London Broncos in 2016, he and his partner returned to live in their native Wigan and Scott signed a two-year deal at Oldham.
As Roughyeds goalkicker, vice-captain and chief play-maker, his form when returning to his old Batley stomping ground will be key to what Oldham can expect to get from their fourth away game in the league (only two at home) so far this season.
Neither Scott Turner nor Liam Thompson, who picked up knocks at Rochdale, played in Saturday’s Challenge Cup win against Haydock, but both will be assessed tonight in the hope that they will be available for the Batley game.
On-loan Tuoyo Egodo, whom Castleford didn’t want cup-tied, will also be back in contention.