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1895 Cup

The 20 clubs who will contest the inaugural 1895 Cup – providing another opportunity for their players and supporters to earn a trip to Wembley Stadium in 2019 – can now be confirmed.

Coventry Bears, London Skolars and North Wales Crusaders have opted not to enter for logistical reasons, meaning eight clubs from Betfred League One will play a straight knockout in the First Round on May 5-6 – before the 12 English clubs from the Betfred Championship join the four First Round winners in the last 16.

The winners of those eight fixtures, to be played in the first week of June, will earn places in the 1895 Cup quarter finals later in the month – with the semi finals to be played the day after the Challenge Cup semi finals, on Sunday July 28.

That will leave the finalists with almost a month to prepare for the 1895 Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24.

The Bears, Crusaders and Skolars confirmed their decision not to participate today, in each case for logistical reasons, with the later rounds of the competition to be played in midweek.

Mark Croston, the Skolars Director of Rugby, said:

“Due to scheduling matters and player welfare issues, we have decided that we couldn’t commit to the 1895 Cup this year.

“Given League 1 and Championship consist mostly of players who currently have full-time jobs, it is unrealistic to expect them to spend a full day on weekdays for away games, potentially returning in the early hours of Thursdays, thus requiring two days away from work.”

Alan Robinson, the Coventry owner and CEO, added:

“The logistics are against us on this one. But we are hoping for another good Challenge Cup run like last year, and Midlands fans will still be able to enjoy the special atmosphere of a floodlit game with Leeds’s visit to Butts Park on Friday 18th January.

We will also be looking to focus all our efforts on our league position and developing our young squad in what will be another year of substantial growth for the club in the region.”

1895 Cup

First round (May 4-5; draw in April on date tbc): Doncaster, Hunslet, Keighley Cougars, Newcastle Thunder, Oldham, West Wales Raiders, Whitehaven, Workington Town.

Second round (June 2-5; draw in early May date tbc): Barrow Raiders, Batley Bulldogs, Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh Centurions, Rochdale Hornets, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions, Widnes Vikings, York City Knights, plus four First Round winners.

Quarter Finals – week starting June 24
Semi Finals – Sunday July 28
Final – Wembley Stadium, Saturday August 24.

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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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