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Town part company with Pryce

LEON Pryce, the high-profile Workington Town coach, has departed Derwent Park.

The Cumbrians are currently placed seventh in Betfred League 1, outside the play-off positions, with three wins from their first six league games.

Only four points separate the top seven but it might be significant that on Good Friday Workington were smashed 33-18 by deadly derby rivals Whitehaven at Derwent Park after the sides were level 12-12 at half-time.

Whitehaven’s only league defeat was a 36-12 loss at the Vestacare Stadium on February 24, this coming seven days after Workington had won 32-28 here after Oldham led 28-20 with eight minutes remaining.

Pre-season, Oldham, Workington and Newcastle were tipped to be the division’s hottest promotion challengers, but with six rounds of the 20 rounds completed Hunslet and Whitehaven lead, London Skolars are third and then come Newcastle, Oldham, Doncaster and Workington, in that order, all on six points from a possible 12.

Pryce becomes the second victim of this neck-and-neck scrap, Newcastle’s Jason Payne having lost his job a month ago and replaced by Denis Betts as director of rugby and Simon Finnigan as head coach.

At Workington, current coaching staff plus club captain Ollie Wilkes will take charge of the team for this week-end’s trip to Keighley Cougars.

Cougars are bottom but only because they began on minus-12 points because of transfer of club membership after going perilously close to disappearing altogether because of crippling financial problems.

Remarkably, they have regrouped to win four and draw one of their first six league games, joining Hunslet and Whitehaven as the only clubs to have been beaten only once,
Had it not been for their 12-point penalty, Keighley would have been in third place — another example of just how tough and competitive it is in the upper reaches of Betfred League 1.

Wilkinson hoping to be fit

Currently under observation and assessment after a head injury, Oldham hooker Matty Wilkinson is hoping he will come successfully through a head test to enable him to play against West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday.

After playing against Newcastle, he was told by a specialist that he needed to stand down for a couple of weeks , hence his withdrawal from the squad that played Hunslet on Good Friday.

“I’m hoping the next few days will make all the difference,”

he said.

Media Opportunity

Roughyeds are on the look-out for someone with a media interest or background — maybe a media-degree student —- to join the club’s media team in a voluntary, work experience capacity.

The student would enhance his CV and course portfolio by gaining valuable experience in the Oldham RLFC media department, particularly in the role of providing extra content for our social media platforms with video interviews etc.

Anyone interested can speak to the club chairman Chris Hamilton on 07904 898177 or contact him by email to: chris.hamilton@roughyeds.co.uk

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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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