Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


McComb, Kelly will have their cards marked

REMEMBER what happened when we beat Whitehaven 36-12 in the league at the Vestacare Stadium in February?

Zack McComb was our match-winning hero with a first-half hat-trick of tries as we raced into a 22-0 lead.

Ethan Kelly, a mountain of a man, then came off the ‘Haven bench to give us a huge fright as the Cumbrians mounted a rousing fightback.

You can wager a smart yacht in Whitehaven harbour to an old rowing boat on Alexandra Park lake that rival coaches Scott Naylor and Gary Charlton will have marked the cards of Kelly and McComb respectively ahead of Sunday’s 1895 Cup clash at the same venue.

Charlton looked on in anguish as right-centre McComb blitzed the Cumbrians with tries in the 10th, 15th and 27th minutes, the last of which was a contender for try of the week on the Our League app.

Naylor suffered similar anxieties when, with ‘Haven back in contention at 22-12, the giant Kelly twice smashed his way over Oldham’s line only to be denied each time by referee Cameron Worsley, first for a double-movement, then for a forward pass.

Kelly has been out injured, but the Cumbrians, unbeaten since that cold February day at the Vestacare Stadium, hope to have him back this weekend.

This is how Roger Halstead, of the Roughyeds’ media team, summed up that first encounter:

“ZACK McComb’s genuine hat-trick of tries in the first half was the highlight of a 36-12 win against Whitehaven which lifted us to third place in Betfred League 1 behind Workington Town and Coventry Bears.

“It finished a comfortable victory in the end but after sailing into a 22-0 lead we hit a dodgy spell, similar to the one against Workington in the previous game, and conceded two converted tries, one either side of half-time.

“At 22-12 Haven were back in the game and it was at that stage that Anthony Bowman was sin-binned for a shoulder charge and the visitors’ big forward sub, Ethan Kelly, twice got over the line, denied first by a double movement and then by a final pass that was judged to be forward.

“We managed to hold on while Bowman was off the field, then regrouped and regained the ascendancy to take the game away from the Cumbrians with a Dave Hewitt try midway through the second half and a late one by Ritchie Hawkyard after good work by Bowman in the build-up.

“In between those two tries Hewitt landed a penalty to finish with six goals from seven attempts, his one miss being a failure to find the target when converting the first of McComb’s treble from out near the right-hand touchline.

“Overall, it was a mixed type of performance in which we produced some beautiful wing-to-wing football in the first half for McComb to finish off strongly, but then suffered that spell when our intensity dropped and we tended to make mistakes with ball in hand or to concede needless penalties.

“Zack scored in the 10th, 15th and 27th minutes to maintain his top-notch early-season form at right centre and to confirm that Oldham, as a team, are looking much more dangerous in attacking positions than they were last year.

“New boys Adam Brook. Anthony Bowman and Emmerson Whittel have good, quick hands which have been a feature of our pre-season games and our first two league games.

“In the forwards Scott Law had a huge first spell; Phil Joy gave him strong support; and Gareth Owen showed definite signs that he is playing with a lot more confidence and getting back to his best after taking time to fully recover from his horrific foot injury of 2017.”

Ritchie Hawkyard won the man-of-the-match award and Zack McComb carried off ‘champagne moment’ for obvious reasons.


Oldham: tries, McComb (10, 15, 27), Hawkyard (33, 75), Hewitt (62); Goals: Hewitt 6/7.
Whitehaven: tries, C Phillips (36), Bulman (43); Goals: Moore 2/2.

OLDHAM: Hawkyard; Jones-Bishop, McComb, Grimshaw, Kershaw; Brook, Hewitt; Joy, Owen, Law, Whittel, Bowman, Bent. Subs: Gwaze, Greenwood, Davies, Spencer.
WHITEHAVEN: Burns; Thompson, Taylor, Mossop, Bulman; Forrester, C Phillips; Shackley, Newton, Coward, B Phillips, Moore, Aiye. Subs: Holliday, JJ Parker, Kelly, Wilkinson.

Ref: Cameron Worsley; Att: 546.

If tomorrow’s (Sun) cup clash is half as intense and competitive as last time it will be another great advert for the sport’s third tier which is getting stronger and better year on year.
The most significant changes in the Oldham side are likely to be the appearances in the second-row of Danny Langtree and Danny Bridge; Langtree for the third time since his return from Hull and Bridge for the second time since his comeback from suspension , but for his first appearance at the Vestacare Stadium.

Bridge did particularly well at West Wales Raiders after nine months out, but it was easy to conclude that both he and ‘Langers’ had one eye on this game while helping Roughyeds to a 72-8 victory down in Llanelli.


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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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