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Fasten your safety belts for the Big Dipper

​RARELY has a business end to a season thrown up as many fascinating positional possibilities as those that will be unveiled over the next few weeks in rugby league’s Betfred League 1.

Take Oldham as an example. They’ve five games left and three of them are against opponents who, like Roughyeds, are still hopeful of a top-two finish.

The winners get promoted, the runners-up have massive advantages in a five-club play-off that will provide a second side to go up to the Championship.

Oldham’s home games against Newcastle and Doncaster, inspired by Rangi Chase, will be crucial on August 11 and 18 respectively and if games like that can’t pack numbers into the Vestacare Stadium then none will.

There are many others of equal significance around the league.

Leaders Whitehaven have still to go to Hunslet and have still to play deadly rivals Workington at home in 80 minutes of derby-day rugby that has the potential to produce anything.

The Hunslet-Oldham game on the last day of the regular season could have heaps riding on it.

The Oldham game apart, Newcastle look to have the easiest run-in under the directorship of Denis Betts and the coaching of Simon Finnigan, but nothing can be taken for granted.

The one sure thing is this; it’s going to be one heck of a battle over the next few weeks so sit back, fasten your safety belts, and enjoy the Big Dipper of Betfred League 1 between now and play-off promotion final day on October 6.

Clubs with a realistic chance of aiming high and going up have these to play:

  • WHITEHAVEN (23 points): Hunslet (a), Workington (h), Keighley (a), West Wales Raiders (h), Coventry (a).
  • NEWCASTLE (21 points): West Wales (a), OLDHAM (a), Coventry (h), North Wales Crusaders (h), Keighley (a).
  • OLDHAM (20 points): London Skolars (a), Newcastle (h), Doncaster (h), Coventry (a), Hunslet (a).
  • DONCASTER (18 points): — only four, London Skolars (h), OLDHAM (a), Keighley (h), Workington (a).
  • HUNSLET (18 points): six here — Whitehaven (h), North Wales Crusaders (h), Keighley (a), London Skolars (a), Workington (h), OLDHAM (h).
  • WORKINGTON TOWN (16 points), only four — Whitehaven (a), West Wales Raiders (h), Hunslet (a), Doncaster (h).
  • LONDON SKOLARS (15 points), only four — OLDHAM (h), Doncaster (a), Hunslet (h), North Wales Crusaders (a).


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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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