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Bridge back in contention

HIS ninth-month suspension finally over, Danny Bridge will be ready to go again whenever Scott Naylor feels he is ready.

The big second-row man got his ban last July and he will be available for the long trek to Llanelli on Saturday for the game against West Wales Raiders (3pm).

He has been training and keeping himself fit and can’t wait to start playing again.

“It’s seemed a long time to be out, especially on game days,”

said 26-year-old Bridge, who was suspended for nine months and fined £75 by an Independent Tribunal after pleading guilty to an offence which involved referee Cameron Worsley at Keighley.

He added:

“It was hard watching when you wanted to be playing, but there were odd occasions last summer when I was able to do things that I hadn’t been able to do since I was 16, like going to Spain with some mates for a few days.

“There’s nothing to compare with playing though and I’m really looking forward to it now it’s coming close.”

It was his first and only ban in a career that began in Super League academies and has since taken him to Rochdale Hornets, to Queensland, Australia and now to his home-town Oldham club, where he is about to start his second season.

In the days following that ill-fated match at Cougar Park, Bridge apologised to the referee involved, to the Oldham club (chairman Chris Hamilton and coach Scott Naylor), to his fellow players and to the fans.

More than once since he has said publicly:

“Anyone who knows me, and knows how I play rugby, knows that for anything like that to happen was completely out of character.”

His return almost coincides with that of Danny Langtree, who came back to Roughyeds last week from Hull FC, and Naylor has previously commented that it will be like having two new quality players around the dressing room.

They will help to compensate for the loss of on-loan winger Lee Kershaw who was recalled by injury-hit Wakefield Trinity in time to play and score on his Super League debut in a 26-24 win against Leeds Rhinos.

While Lee was training at Oldham last Thursday ahead of the Good Friday game against Hunslet, Trinity picked up two more casualties in Matty Ashurst and Joe Arundel in a narrow defeat at Castleford.

They recalled Lee that night with the result that Kyran Johnson and Aaron Jones-Bishop filled our wing berths against Hunslet, Kyran scoring an excellent early try when he leapt like a salmon to pluck a Dave Hewitt cross-kick out of the air with fully outstretched arms.

The congratulations of everyone at Oldham RLFC, meanwhile, go to Lee Kershaw, who crowned his first appearance at the elite level with a long-range try.

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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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