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Widnes cup-tie at Bower Fold

OUR home fourth-round Coral Challenge Cup tie against Widnes Vikings will be at Bower Fold, Stalybridge on Sunday, March 31, kick-off 3pm.

Normal Betfred League 1 admission prices will apply; namely £14 adults, £12 concessions, £2 under-16s (standing), £16 adults, £14 concessions, £5 under-16s (sitting).

As with all shared-gate cup-ties, season tickets are invalid with the exception of junior season-ticket holders who will again get in free on production of their season-ticket book on the day.

Said Oldham RLFC chairman Chris Hamilton:

“In consultation with Widnes it became apparent that the Vestacare Stadium capacity would be insufficient for the anticipated attendance.

“Widnes fans are expected to travel in large numbers following their club’s recent battle against liquidation and, subsequently, a successful takeover.

“We had to find an alternative venue so we will return to Bower Fold, home of Stalybridge Celtic, which is very familiar to Oldham fans.

“I would again like to thank Celtic chairman Rob Gorski and the Stalybridge club for accommodating us.

“We are hoping for a big turn-out, given that it’s a long time since we last played Widnes at home.

“We have kept admission prices the same as a Betfred League 1 match to reward our loyal fans for their continuing and totally committed backing.

“We hope to see as many Roughyeds supporters as possible at the Vestacare Stadium this Sunday (March 24) for the visit of London Skolars and then at Bower Fold a week later for the Widnes cup-tie.”

The Vikings lost some players during their financial problems but they’ve managed to retain most of the squad which has already cleared off all but two of a 12-points deduction for going into administration.

They prop up the Championship with minus-two points but their strength and current form is reflected in three wins out of three since the club was saved and taken over by a new board of directors.

Kieron Purtill’s side have won each of their last three games — 44-22 against Featherstone Rovers at home, 20-6 at Barrow Raiders and 25-20 against Bradford Bulls in a Halton Stadium that was rocking with a crowd of 5,335.

Potentially, we are looking at a record crowd for an Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd home game, but before that we have a very important Betfred League 1 clash with Skolars at the Vestacare Stadium this Sunday (3pm).

Winger Aaron Jones-Bishop and play-anywhere Anthony Bowman, who was 27 yesterday (Mon), are each banned for two matches by the RFL for offences in our last-gasp win at North Wales Crusaders.

They will sit out the games against Skolars and then Widnes in the cup.

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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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