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Crook looking for big career milestone

​PAUL Crook will be looking to play in his 250th career game when Oldham go to Bradford Bulls on Sunday in the Betfred League 1 play-off semi-final.

The goal-kicking half-back made 164 appearances for Rochdale Hornets, either side of spells with Widnes Vikings (13 games), Doncaster (10), Swinton (8) and Whitehaven (27).

He has played 27 times for Roughyeds this year, putting him within one game of his major milestone.

A year ago he was in a third-tier play-off series with Whitehaven, who narrowly beat York in a golden-point thriller at the Recreation Ground only to go down to Barrow Raiders in an equally-exciting final at Craven Park.

On Sunday, Oldham will be without the suspended Ben Davies, Luke Nelmes and Luke Hooley, but coach Scott Naylor insists that all the pressure and weight of expectation is on the Bulls.

Of the side with whom he won every honour in the game as a strong centre, the Roughyeds boss said:

“They’ve beaten us twice this season and the pressure is on them, not just this weekend but to gain promotion.

“The bookies made them odds-on favourites (to win the league and go up automatically) but they’ve not finished top of the division.

“Was that because York had a fantastic season or because Bradford didn’t ?”

Describing the play-offs as “trap-door football”, Bulls boss John Kear told the Telegraph and Argus:

“You’ve got to have confidence in your own squad, but also be respectful of the opposition.

“Oldham are a good team. Let’s not beat about the bush. Nobody has whacked them all season so we’ve got to be on our mettle.

“They’re a well-coached, tough, aggressive team who give you absolutely nothing.”

Bulls winger Ethan Ryan, whose 32 Betfred League 1 tries this year, earned him the League 1 Young Player Of The Year award in Manchester on Tuesday, believes the Odsal clash will be just as competitive as the recent league game at the Vestacare Stadium, which Bulls won 24-16.

Though playing most of the second half with 12 men, and finishing with 10, Roughyeds ‘nilled’ the Bulls after half-time and scored themselves with a Craig Briscoe try, goaled by Hooley.

“It’s going to be another tough contest,” said Ryan, a 22-year-old Academy product.

“I’m expecting a similar game to the one at Oldham, but from our point of view home advantage should make a difference this time.”

Big-match referee is Jack Smith, the former Royal Marines commando, who was discharged on medical grounds after being shot by a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan eight years ago.



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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