OLDHAM are relishing the prospect of having a crack at regaining the Law Cup from derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at the Crown Oil Arena on Sunday, January 7 (3pm kick-off).
The first of each club’s pre-season warm-up games was announced jointly today — an eagerly-awaited clash which will give Roughyeds fans an early glimpse of new boys Paul Crook, Luke Nelmes, Danny Rasool, Dave Eccleston, Matt Reid, Jack Holmes, Liam Bent, Kyran Johnson and Adam Jones.
Said Oldham head coach Scott Naylor: “The Law Cup is always a very important test for both clubs and both sets of fans. It’s classed as a friendly, but that’s the last thing it is. It’s a typical derby and there’s a lot of prestige at stake — just ask the fans.
“It will be a stern challenge very early in our pre-season programme. I’m really pleased it’s on the agenda. Rochdale won the cup last year and we would love to take it back off them.
“They’re a Championship side so we expect a very tough challenge, but it’s one we are really looking forward to.”
Naylor said that of the three players who were recovering from operations at the end of last season, only hooker Gareth Owen would still be on rehabilitation in January.
He added: “Danny Langtree and Phil Joy are back in full training with the squad. They’re fully fit now and they will be ready for the Law Cup. ‘Gaz’ Owen is still working out with the physios, but everything is going well for him. ”
Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw, who guided his side to a 24-12 win at Bower Fold in last year’s Law Cup clash, said: “Games like this can never be classed as a friendly. We are eager to retain the Law Cup. It will be a good test for both sides. It’s great to continue the rivalry that has thrived in the last few years.
“There will be familiar faces (in opposition ranks) for both sets of fans and its sure to be a great spectacle.
“Pre-season matches like the Law Cup are good for preparation. It will be our first hit-out of 2018 (as it will too for Roughyeds) and we’re looking forward to showing supporters what we’ve been practising over the winter.”
Steve Kerr, Hornets’ recently-appointed chief executive, added: “It’s a game the fans always want to see and we’re pleased to get it on at the Crown Oil Arena in January.
“For the last few years these derby games have been really exciting so I know supporters of both clubs will be in for a treat.
“Thanks go to Chris Hamilton, who was helpful in getting the game on and who worked closely with us to set a date. I’m sure it will be a good test for both sides heading into their respective league campaigns.”
Admission prices are £15 adults, £10 concessions, £5 under-16s
The pre-season programme now reads like this:
- Sunday, January 7: Rochdale Hornets v OLDHAM (3pm, Crown Oil Arena)
- Sunday, January 21: Barrow Raiders v OLDHAM (2pm, Craven Park))
- Sunday, January 28: OLDHAM v Keighley Cougars (3pm, Vestacare Stadium).
Said Naylor: “Getting back into Oldham has gone down well with the fans and we want to make sure our home form is solid all season.
“It was important we had a home friendly so that players and supporters can get used to the Vestacare Stadium, which has changed since we last played there.”
Fans are reminded, meanwhile, that to make the biggest savings on season tickets they need to buy before December 22 when the office closes down for the Christmas and New Year break.
Savings range from £42 to £48 for adults; from £36 to £42 for over-65s; and up to £25 for under-16s.
The office is open from 11am to 3pm on Mondays to Thursdays inclusive and from 9.30am to 3pm on Fridays. Tickets can also be ordered on-line and payment made by debit or credit card.
Tickets will make excellent Christmas presents, as will Craig Halstead’s second book on Roughyeds, called ‘Roughyeds, Against All The Odds’ which can be bought for £12.95 from the Roughyeds office at the Vestacare Stadium and also on-line via the Roughyeds payments website.