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Neal ready to boost Roughyeds pack

PROP Adam Neal, out for nearly four months with a head injury, will be back in the reckoning when Oldham boss Scott Naylor names his provisional 19 for Sunday’s Betfred League 1 game at Hemel Stags (2pm kick-off).

Naylor confirmed after training last night that the former Salford front-rower will be available for his long-awaited comeback after being out of action since April 15.

He was concussed when taking a heavy tackle in the second half of Oldham’s 32-18 win against Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium.

He’s missed 14 matches — half the season — and its fair to say he’s been badly missed, especially in tight games when the pack needed a cool head and a calming influence.

Kenny Hughes might also be back after several weeks out, given that the only players still on the casualty list are on-loan full-back Luke Hooley (shoulder) and back-row forward Adam Jones, still recovering from a back injury received at work.

Roughyeds will be expected to return to winning ways at Hemel after demolishing the Stags 74-6 at home in mid-May.

Naylor has warned, however, that there will be no room for complacency.

Oldham have lost their last three away games and for this next one they will have to cope with an early start and a long drive to Hertfordshire.

Said Naylor:

“When we’ve gone down there in the past it’s usually taken us 20 or 30 minutes to get going, so we’ll be talking about the importance of getting a good start.

“We need to get back to something like our form earlier in the season and in terms of the ‘away’ thing it will be a big challenge for us.”

Oldham need to perform well not only to hold on to their play-off spot, but to go into next week’s home game against Whitehaven full of confidence and in buoyant mood.

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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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