Joy back in contention after 'best man' duties

BIG prop Phil Joy will be back in contention for Oldham RL Club’s tough challenge in Cumbria on Sunday after missing last week’s win against Keighley Cougars because he was best man at the wedding of one of his three brothers.

It was the third game he has missed in the last few weeks because of major family commitments — the birth of his first son and then the weddings of two of his brothers.

Said head coach Scott Naylor; “He was his brother’s best man the day before we played Keighley. He said he’d stick to soft drinks and play but it’s not every day your brother gets married or you have the chance to be best man.

“These lads are not full-time professionals after all so I insisted he put his family duties first because I thought that was the right thing to do.”

Nick Gregson, a young forward from Leigh Centurions, played as a substitute on dual registration but suffered concussion and is now undergoing the RFL’s head-injury protocol regarding treatment and tests.

Roughyeds won’t know until later whether he will be available for Sunday’s game at Workington Town (3pm kick-off), which will be played at the Borough Park home of Workington FC because the pitch at Derwent Park — situated close by just across the road from the football ground — is being repaired and upgraded.

Gregson apart, Roughyeds came unscathed through their 28-4 win against Cougars so Naylor will have a squad of 21 players from whom to choose plus anyone that might be available to him on dual-reg from Leigh.

Workington were considered to be one of the promotion favourites when the bookies formulated their pre-season odds, but they have won only six of their 11 games to date and are down in sixth place.

However, they are only two points behind third-placed Oldham, whom they beat 32-28 in a thriller at the Vestacare Stadium on the opening day of the league season on February 17.

After that , early-season results went against Town and their high-profile coach Leon Pryce, who was sacked and replaced by Chris Thorman, the former England and Huddersfield Giants half-back.

Three Oldham players, Jack Spencer, Gareth Owen and Ritchie Hawkyard were under scrutiny last week by the RFL’s match review panel for offences committed in the 31-0 defeat at Doncaster.

Spencer (dangerous contact) wasn’t charged and in the cases of the other two, who were sin-binned for pushing, spells in the bin were considered to be enough punishment.

Collection

The bucket collection for Chernobyl Children at the Keighley game raised £263-32. Roughyeds and the Oldham Link of the national charity concerned both wish to give grateful thanks to all who contributed.


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