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Congratulations and best wishes to the boys of Saddleworth School

​WELL done and sincere best wishes to the boys of Saddleworth School who have won their way through to a massive national rugby league schools’ final double.

The under-16s (Year 11) were beaten in their final by Outwood Grange Academy while the under-15s (Year 10) take on the Brooksbank School of Elland in their final at Warrington’s Victoria Park this Friday night, July 5, starting at 7pm.

It will be a huge day of top schoolboy rugby league, featuring Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 finals in the Warners Champion Schools’ Finals Day.

Each final, including Saddleworth v Brooksbank, will be broadcast live on the RFL’s Our League app.

More than 20,000 schoolboys and schoolgirls from more than 1,000 schools from England and Wales started out on the road to Warrington.

Schools from Leeds, Hull, Wigan, Widnes, Cumbria, Castleford, Warrington, Dewsbury, Manchester, Elland and OLDHAM won through to the finals.

Gary Melling, head of rugby at Saddleworth School, said: “Without blowing our own trumpet, we think we’ve had a marvellous year.

“To get two teams in national finals is some achievement and I would like to congratulate each of the boys involved.”

The RFL has been running Champion Schools for more than three decades and this year, for the first time, agreed a welcome sponsorship deal with Warners Fish Merchants, the UK’s biggest importer of Icelandic frozen-at-sea haddock and cod.

The Year 7 finalists (any two of Great Sankey of Warrington, Brooksbank of Elland, Standish of Wigan or Wade Deacon of Widnes) will play their final at Wembley as a curtain-raiser to the Coral Challenge Cup, playing for the Steven Mullaney Trophy.

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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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