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Crook doubt for Bradford crunch game

PAUL Crook, Oldham’s stand-off and goalkicker, is doubtful with a foot injury for Oldham RL Club’s massive game against Bradford Bulls at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

He didn’t resume for the second-half at York last week and he wasn’t able to train on Tuesday night.

“I expect everybody else to be okay, but Crooky’s struggling so he’s got to be doubtful,”

said head coach Scott Naylor.

In the second half at York, and on other occasions when Crook hasn’t been on the field this season, Gareth Owen has moved into the halves.

As for goalkicking, Luke Hooley is a recognised marksman and he enjoys the responsibility and the pressure.

In Crook’s absence, he kicked the one goal Roughyeds scored in a 10-6 defeat against the Betfred League 1 leaders and he will be favourite to get the job again if Crook fails to make it.

Roughyeds’ last home game of the regular season coincides with the club’s biggest and most important challenge.

Bradford need to win to take their title challenge into the last weekend of the campaign (anything less would almost certainly hand automatic promotion to York), while Roughyeds know what’s needed to ensure a play-off spot.

Wins in their final two games against the Bulls and then London Skolars away on Saturday week and they can’t be caught, such is the significance of their vastly superior for-and-against difference over rivals Whitehaven and Hunslet.

A loss on Sunday wouldn’t be decisive, but Scott Naylor’s men would then be banking on both Hunslet and Whitehaven losing at least one of their last two.

Said Naylor:

“It’s not rocket science to work out that we’ll have to be at our best against a side like Bradford, but we believe we can win it.

“We had plenty of belief at York but we ran out of time. Another five minutes and I think we would have won.”

York people, including coach James Ford, were fulsome in their praise of the Roughyeds, whom they agreed were the toughest side seen at Bootham Crescent this season.

Knights fans have since been on social media and forums to wish Naylor’s boys good luck on Sunday and to express the view that a repeat of the York performance would be good enough.

The game will attract the biggest crowd of the season — perhaps the biggest since Roughyeds moved into what was then called Whitebank in 2010.

It isn’t all-ticket, but tickets have been selling fast and seats are nearly all gone.

Standing tickets can be purchased at the Roughyeds office between 10am and 3pm each day up to and including Friday.

Turnstiles will open at 1pm and fans are urged to arrive early to ease congestion.

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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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