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Roughyeds hit by Jones-Bishop blow

​SCOTT Naylor and his coaching team are coming to terms with the shock news that injured winger Aaron Jones-Bishop won’t play again this season.

The Jamaican international, who has helped his country to qualify for the 2021 World Cup, needs an operation to repair a damaged knee.

Said Naylor:

“It’s bad news for the squad and the club, but our thoughts are with Aaron, who faces a long lay-off and then a lot of rehab in order to regain full fitness.

“We need to get on with it now so that he can start his rehab as quickly as possible.

“In a contact sport you get injuries like this if you’re unlucky. It’s just one of those things — something we have to deal with.”

It leaves the Roughyeds boss with a squad of 22; 13 forwards, eight backs plus Anthony Bowman, who feels equally comfortable at half-back or in the back-row of the pack.

Backs: Brook, Crook, Hawkyard, Hewitt, Holmes, Johnson, Maders, McComb.
Forwards: Bent, Bridge, Calland, Davies, Greenwood, Gwaze, Joy, Langtree, Law, Owen, Spencer, Whittel, Wilkinson.
Utility: Bowman.

The loss of Jones-Bishop means Roughyeds have lost two quality wingers within a few weeks, following Wakefield Trinity’s recall of on-loan Lee Kershaw.

Currently occupying the wing spots are Kyran Johnson and local lad Harry Maders with Zack McComb and Jack Holmes in the centre positions.

Roughyeds have scored a total of 22 tries in their last two outings — 14 of them by the backs.

Next up is Coventry Bears at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm). They come in grizzly mood after accounting for two teams, Newcastle Thunder and Workington Town from what is commonly known among the non-heartland clubs as the ‘northern powerhouse’.

“They’ve beaten two teams who beat us earlier this season so that shows what they’re capable of,” said Naylor.

“In some ways they’re a mirror image of London Skolars; much improved; not the team many people might expect them to be; well coached; young, big, strong and fast.

“League 1 is very unpredictable this year and teams like Skolars and Coventry are very much a part of that.

“The team that’s the most consistent will finish top and go up automatically, so we know what needs to be done.”

After three blank weekends between the start of the season in mid-February and the second week in May, Roughyeds now have a run of nine successive weeks of pressure rugby without a break.

Naylor won’t announce his 19-man squad for the Coventry game until later, but he has said that with nine games in nine weeks he will utilise his full 22-man squad during that period.

Four players from the 22 haven’t figured in the last two games — Ben Calland, Ben Davies, Adam Brook and Anthony Bowman, the last two now fit again after injury.

The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from the 26th Oldham unit, based in Chadderton, will be our flag bearers for this game , while Oldham Foodbank will be inside the ground to receive your donations of tinned food etc for those in need.

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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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