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Big-game Beharrell shock as Dons name 19-man squad

Matty Beharrell, the Doncaster half-back who has given Oldham a lot of trouble several times in the past, is not included in the 19 named by head coach Richard Horne for tomorrow’s (Sunday) big game at the Vestacare Stadium.

The club’s website gives no explanation for the absence of the former Newcastle and Swinton half, who scored a try; created another for Rangi Chase; kicked three goals; and landed the late drop goal that gave Doncaster a 23-22 home win against London Skolars last Sunday.

League Express reported that Beharrell was game star, game breaker and the Dons’ man of the match.

Hinting that selection might have been influenced by a Vestacare Stadium pitch that is a lot narrower than the one Doncaster normally play on at the Keepmoat Stadium, Steve Hossack wrote in the Doncaster Free Press:

“Several players who otherwise would have been in contention were not considered due to Oldham’s pitch.

“It doesn’t suit the expansive game he (Horne) likes his side to play.”

Fifteen of the 17 on duty last week are included in the 19, however, although Beharrell is the major omission.

Significantly, perhaps, the Dons boss has brought in Ryan Boyle after suspension and Jack Brown on dual-reg from Hull FC, both of them front-row forwards.

And he’s quoted like this on the club’s website:

“It’s a real tight pitch and it’s hard to avoid it being a really physical battle. We went there in the 1895 Cup (they won 24-12) and we were really disciplined.

“It will be similar this time. They are big and powerful so we’ll have to match them in the middle area to get the result we want.

“Ruck tempo will be key and we need to make sure our contact is good. We want to control the game if we can.”

He felt that as Oldham had won six of their last seven games since they were beaten twice by Doncaster on successive Sundays at the beginning of June, Roughyeds would have a lot more self belief now than they appeared to have back then.

He will pick from these 19:

Watson Boas, Connor Bower, Ryan Boyle, Jack Brown, Rangi Chase, Matty Chrimes, Sam Doherty, Brandon Douglas, Brad Foster, Tom Holliday, Jordie Hedges, Evan Hodgson, Jordan Howden, Kyle Kesik, Frankie Mariano, Richie Owen, Connor Scott, Russ Spiers, Jason Tali.

Oldham will announce their 19-man squad later today after this morning’s Captain’s Run.

Turnstiles will open at 1pm to give fans a couple of hours before kick-off to enjoy fun and laughter among the 20 stalls and games that will be set up on the grass football pitch as part of the club’s Mayoral and 999 Day —- the biggest event of its kind ever staged by Oldham RLFC.

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Club Cash

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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