IF Dave Hewitt replaces suspended Anthony Bowman at half-back in Oldham’s side to face London Skolars at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday it will be interesting to see whether he or Adam Brook is called on to do the goal-kicking.
‘Chewy’ Hewitt’s 14 goals and two tries in the Roughyeds’ three Betfred League 1 games to date means he has currently scored more points — 36 — than anyone else in League 1 competition this year.
He has two more than Hunslet’s Reece Dean, who tops the goals chart with 15, one more than his Oldham rival.
Hewitt and Dean are in a neck-and-neck fight for points and goals supremacy, but when the Oldham half-back was rested for the third-round Coral Challenge Cup tie against Haydock, on-loan Brook was handed the goalkicking duties and produced a master-class with 12 goals from 14 shots despite a vicious wind.
Post-match, his accuracy and consistency in such conditions were major talking points among fans, but it doesn’t alter the fact that Hewitt is currently the top points scorer in the division and only one goal short of being joint top marksman.
While Paul Crook remains on the injured list with a long-standing foot problem it’s good to know that there is goalkicking back-up of this quality.
Coach Scott Naylor has confirmed that everyone is fit and available apart from Crook, Danny Grimshaw (groin) and the suspended trio consisting of Bowman, winger Aaron Jones-Bishop and back-row forward Danny Bridge, whose long-term ban will end in late April.
He will have 20 players at his disposal, including Hewitt, Ritchie Hawkyard, Gareth Owen and Lee Kershaw, all of whom sat out the Haydock cup-tie and will be keen to get back.
Prop Scott Law will make his 250th career appearance and Naylor has praised the durability and high standards of professionalism of the former Keighley Cougars front-rower.
Said the Oldham boss:
“He deserves enormous credit for reaching a milestone like that in the position he plays. To hit 250 games as a prop, the toughest position of all, is a huge achievement.
“It says as much about the man as it does about the player and he deserves a massive pat on the back from everyone at the club. He is a real pro.”
The 34-year-old did ten years at Keighley where he finished off as 2018 player of the year before following his team mate Ritchie Hawkyard to the Vestacare Stadium — and a new beginning.