OLDHAM are looking at two new injury concerns as they prepare for Friday’s big derby battle with Swinton Lions at Bower Fold (3pm).
Because of its relevance at the lower end of the Kingstone Press Championship table, the first of Roughyeds’ two games over Easter is significantly more important for both clubs than last weekend’s games against Toulouse Olympique and Hull KR in which they were both heavily beaten.
Oldham prop Jack Spencer ‘popped’ a rib in a heavy tackle in the first few minutes at Toulouse, where he was taken off, never to return.
Half-back David Hewitt picked up a groin/hamstring injury and he will also be assessed tonight.
Hooker Gareth Owen, the club captain, and fit-again Scott Turner were part of the 19-man squad that travelled to the south of France, but neither figured.
With only a two-day turnaround before Roughyeds go to Halifax on Monday, Owen, Turner, George Tyson and Ben Davies will be in the selection mix if Tyson (hamstring) and Davies (calf) are ready in time.
Davies, who is expected to get the all-clear, would be an obvious replacement for Spencer.
It would be more difficult to settle on a new half-back partner for Scott Leatherbarrow, but a large section of fans would lobby for Danny Grimshaw.
Oldham, in ninth place, would open up a five-point gap over tenth-placed Swinton, with a game in hand, if they were to win their third league game from four played at Bower Fold so far this season.
The only league defeat on home soil was a 20-18 loss to London Broncos.
Defeats for Swinton (52-18 at home to Hull KR), Rochdale, Dewsbury and Sheffield resulted in little change at the lower end of the table, but there is likely to be significant movement over Easter.
Steven Nield, who has gone to Gloucester on a month’s loan, made his debut for the All Golds at centre in their 24-22 home defeat by London Skolars.
Season ticket holders who still haven’t claimed their free Summer Bash tickets are asked to do before Friday’s kick-off, seat holders from main reception and standing-pass holders from the shop inside the ground between 2pm and 2.45pm.
Roughyeds have acquired a small number of South Stand tickets for Summer Bash Saturday (May 27). Fans ring 07904 898177 to order.
West Stand tickets will be on sale at Bower Fold on Sunday, as will discounted tickets for the fifth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie at Featherstone on Sunday, April 23.
With savings of £6 adults and £4 concessions these are also available to April 19 from the ticket office at Oldham Athletic which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.