A WEEK after Ben Davies made his 200th career appearance in the Oldham v Keighley Cougars game and on-loan Harry Aaronson scored a brace of tries in his 50th senior game, it’s Ritchie Hawkyard’s turn to look forward to a massive milestone.
Full-back ‘Titch’, as he is known throughout Rugby League, will hit his 250th game at Workington on Sunday in a senior career stretching back to 2007 when he played three games for Bradford Bulls and one for Scotland.
Moving on to Swinton, he represented the Lions 168 times between 2008 and 2015, followed by his 64 outings for Keighley Cougars between 2016 and 2018 and then his 13 so far for Roughyeds this season.
That’s 249 in total — and of those you can probably count on one hand the number of times he hasn’t been on the field for the full 80 minutes.
Town full-back Ryan Fieldhouse, son of the former Oldham prop and player-coach John Fieldhouse, needs one try to reach 100, the majority of which were scored for Halifax and Barrow.
The battle of the full-backs could well be of great significance in Sunday’s game which will be played at the Borough Park ground of Workington Reds, which is situated just across the road from Derwent Park.
There is no public parking at Borough Park apart from a limited number of disabled spaces for which fans are asked to pre-book on 01900 603609.
There may be public parking at the nearby Allerdale House, but Oldham RLFC cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information and fans are strongly advised to inquire about the parking situation on arrival.
The Workington Town safety officer has asked us to inform supporters that smoking is permitted inside the ground, which is licensed for alcohol only on one side.
Last Sunday Workington marked their first outing at their original home in more than 33 years by running in ten tries against Coventry Bears.
Town were based at Borough Park from their formation in 1944 until 1956 when they completed the construction of nearby Derwent Park.
Prior to the Coventry game last week, they last played at the football ground in 1986 when a Challenge Cup tie against Wigan was switched there.
They are currently playing “across the road” due to ongoing pitch improvement work at Derwent Park.
Fieldhouse got man-of-the-match billing in the 54-16 win against Coventry when Town lined up like this:
Fieldhouse; Mellor, Wellington, Singleton, Bolton; Doran, Forber; Wilkes, Penkywicz, Moimoi, Scholey, Maudling, Tickle; Subs: Dawson, Curwen, Olstrom, O’Donnell.
The Cumbrians have won four of the last six meetings between the clubs, but of those four victories two were by two points and one by four points.
In stark contrast, Oldham’s two wins were 30-16 at home and 32-10 at Derwent Park.
Said Oldham coach Scott Naylor:
“It’s always difficult to win up there; I think I’ve only done it twice in all the years I’ve been going there, first as a player and then as a coach.
“You’ve got to play well to be in with a shout. You’ve got to stop them doing what they’re good at and make sure you take advantage of the things they’e not so good at.
“We’ve got to play better than we’ve played in the last two or three games. From the Doncaster defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium we made a lot of improvements against Keighley, but we’ll need to improve still more against these men.
“We know that and we’ve done a lot of talking about it this week. We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ve got to keep on improving week by week, seek some consistency and string a few wins together.
“It will be tough and so it should be in a Workington v Oldham game.”
Town’s new team boss Chris Thorman said:
“Without wanting to sound big-headed I think I can make a significant difference and we’re slowly starting to show it.
“I keep shouting down people who mention promotion. Fan always want to talk about that, but I’m a process-driven person and my life has been about accumulating good days.
“If you accumulate enough of those during the week you’re going to get a good performance at the weekend and that’s how I look at things.
“At the same time I think this group can achieve anything it puts its mind to.
“There are a lot of similar teams in this division. I don’t see there being one stand-out side. We’ll focus on improving every week and see where we’re at come August.”