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Naylor demands cool heads as promotion race hots up

​OLDHAM RL boss Scott Naylor is calling on his players to remain cool, calm and collected as the Betfred League 1 promotion race turns into its final furlong.

Excited Roughyeds fans are making a big thing of the fact that if leaders Whitehaven slip to their third defeat in a row at London Skolars on Saturday, Naylor’s men will go into their clash with bottom-of-the-table West Wales Raiders at the Vestacare Stadium 24 hours later knowing a win will shoot them to top spot for the first time this year.

Oldham are close to hitting the front in a seven-horse race. having come through on the inside with a 26-16 win at Workington while, five miles down the Cumbrian coast, Whitehaven crashed to a last-gasp 24-22 defeat by rank outsiders North Wales Crusaders.

Once five points in front, ‘Haven are now clinging to a one-point lead over Hunslet, who don’t play this weekend, and Oldham, who are chasing their sixth win in their last seven league outings.

Opponents West Wales Raiders have done very little raiding this season, having lost all 12 league games and having conceded an average of 52 points a game. When Oldham played them in Llanelli in April they won 72-8.

Said Naylor:

“Everybody expects us to win and to pile on a few points. Sooner or later somebody is going to come unstuck against them and we don’t want that ‘someone’ to be us.

“With that in mind we’ll be preparing and playing exactly like we’ve done for every other game this year.

“Results went our way last weekend but they’re not always going to and we can’t rely on the likes of North Wales doing us favours every week,

“It’s all down to us, not others, and we’ve got to keep a winning run going, all the time remaining calm and cool , forgetting what others are doing and realising that so long as we keep winning we can’t do any more.

“Even if we go top this weekend there will still be seven games to go before we hit the play-offs and that’s a lot of rugby in which anything can happen.”

All under-16s go free to Sunday’s game and adults who attended the last home game against Keighley Cougars got a half-price voucher for this game.

Roughyeds had a light training run-out on Tuesday night but will be back at full throttle by Thursday.

Several players are under treatment after a bruising battle at Workington, including Jack Spencer (finger), Ritchie Hawkyard (calf), Anthony Bowman (knee) and Ben Davies (calf).

On a brighter note, Kyran Johnson started light training this week after suffering a broken jaw at Keighley on May 25, but it will be at least two more weeks before he can go into contact.

Added Naylor:

“Jack Spencer might have to see a plastic surgeon and Anthony Bowman will need a scan, but both will be back as soon as possible.”

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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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