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Pressure on Roughyeds in top-five push

​THE defeat at Newcastle means Oldham will probably have to get something from their games against the top two, York and Bradford, in order to qualify for the Betfred League 1 play-offs.

“We’ve put ourselves under a lot of pressure, but we’re still up for it. We can still do it,”

said assistant boss Pete Carey.

With four games left, Roughyeds are currently in fifth place — the last of the play-off spots — with the same number of points as sixth-placed Hunslet.

York or Bradford will finish top and go up automatically.

Teams 2 to 5 inclusive play off for the right to join them in the Championship.

Oldham expected to be in third place now, but their fade-out in the last quarter of an hour at Newcastle, where they let an 18-6 lead slip and lost 24-18, plus Workington’s surprise win at Bradford saw them fall to fifth.

Hunslet now appear to be the biggest threat to Oldham, who will have to beat Coventry Bears at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday week, September 2, and London Skolars away in their last game of the season on Saturday, September 22.

Between the two, Scott Naylor’s men go to York on September 9 and entertain Bradford on September 16 in a game that will attract the biggest crowd of the year and might well determine the Roughyeds’ fate.

Surprise results are always likely at this time of the season — ask Bradford about that — but with games against the runaway top two still to come Roughyeds clearly have the toughest run-in of all the hopefuls.

The flip side to that is their superior for-and-against record which will be worth another point if Roughyeds and Hunslet end up on level pegging.

Said club skipper Gareth Owen:

“We’re probably dependent on other results going our way now, but if we can make the play-offs we wouldn’t be fazed by anybody in a one-off, sudden-death game.”

Promotion aside, a play-off game at Bradford or York, for instance, would prove hugely beneficial financially to Roughyeds whatever the outcome.

With places 3 to 5 inclusive up for grabs, the contenders go into battle like this:

  • WORKINGTON TOWN (3rd, 32 points): Home, York, London Skolars; away, Newcastle Thunder, Doncaster.
  • DONCASTER (4th, 30 points): Home, Newcastle Thunder, Workington Town; away, Keighley Cougars, North Wales Crusaders.
  • OLDHAM (5th, 28 points): Home, Coventry Bears, Bradford Bulls; away, York, London Skolars.
  • HUNSLET (6th, 28 points): Home, London Skolars, Newcastle Thunder; away, Whitehaven, Coventry Bears.
  • WHITEHAVEN (7th, 26 points): Home, Hunslet, Coventry Bears; away, Hemel Stags, York.

In the reverse fixtures of the four games Oldham have still to play, Naylor’s men took four points out of eight, winning comfortably at Coventry and against London at home, but going down 30-12 at Bradford and 24-22 at home to York in an early-season classic.

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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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