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Murray upbeat about Crusaders’ trip to the Vestacare

OUR head coach Scott Naylor was spot-on when he said North Wales Crusaders will arrive at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off) on top note after their win at Newcastle Thunder last week.

Hooker Karl Ashall, who has returned to the Wrexham-based club after a spell with Barrow Raiders, is expected to be in coach Anthony Murray’s 17 for the first time since Murray got him back on a deal that runs to the end of 2019.

Delighted with their win in the North-East and still buoyed by the show they put up when losing 19-18 in controversial circumstances against Hunslet, some Cru fans will be travelling to Oldham in fancy dress and all ready to party.

On the field former Oldham player Murray expects to name a strong squad in a bid to reverse the Roughyeds relatively easy win in Wrexham in round three.

He has gone public with his view that his side’s win at Newcastle from 12-0 down should give Crusaders’ extra self-belief.

He said:

“We should be confident. Our work-rate, fitness levels, set completion and technicalities are getting better all the time.

“We’ve got to go to Oldham with a belief that we can get something from the game. We are not a fancy team but we work hard and stick together and I’m a great believer in those things.

“I want the boys to play with a smile on their face and to enjoy themselves.”

There are four former Roughyeds players at Crusaders, namely head coach Murray, scrum-half Steve Roper, forward Alex Thompson and winger Dale Bloomfield, who scored at Newcastle.

Cru fans should note that, contrary to information on their club’s website, the game will NOT be played at Bower Fold, but at a refurbished Vestacare Stadium (used to be known as Whitebank) which is much smarter than it once was and now has a state-of-the-art artificial pitch.

The old playing surface slope has gone and the ground generally has had a major make-over with smarter fences, barriers and walk-ways.

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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