WITH two games left in the regular Betfred League 1 campaign, Oldham’s players are in the sort of form that gives them the self-belief to win promotion via the play-offs.
Mathematically they could still go up automatically as champions but realistically they’ll finish second or third — second if they win their two remaining games at Coventry and Hunslet — and that will mean qualifying via the play-offs.
“We believe we can go all the way,” said prop Scott Law. “It’s the business end of the season and we’re starting to gel at exactly the right time.”
He was speaking after winning the club’s champagne-moment award for his exquisite offload to send in Gareth Owen for the Roughyeds’ seventh and final try in the 40-14 win against Doncaster.
It was their seventh win in the last eight outings and that’s promotion form, said man-of-the-match full-back Ritchie Hawkyard.
“We took a lot of confidence from how we played against Newcastle. When we are on our game, 1 to 17, we can beat anyone in this division.
“In the first half we perhaps threw the extra ball that wasn’t on, but we spoke about it at half-time and fixed it up.
“We strayed a bit from the game plan at one period in the second half, but when they scored with ten minutes left our senior men sorted that out while we stood behind the posts.
“Promotion to the Championship is very much on now. That’s where we belong.”
Chairman Chris Hamilton emphasised that these two big wins against Newcastle and Doncaster were achieved without the injured Jack Spencer, a key forward.
“When we turn up like we did in those games we don’t have to be frightened of anyone in this division.
“What we are seeing now is the culmination of a season’s work with everyone working hard to reach our goal — promotion to the Championship.”
Head coach Scott Naylor said that, backing up from the Newcastle game, his side had again produced an “amazing” performance.
He went on:
“Our line speed and aggression in defence were really good.
“We’re aiming to finish as high as we can so that we’re at home in the play-offs. We’re tough to beat, especially at home. We’re a different side at home.”
The attendance, 745, fell just short of beating the season’s best of 765 on the opening day of the season against Workington.
Oldham’s next assignment is at Coventry Bears on Sunday, September 1 and then they bring down the curtain on the regular season at Hunslet on September 8.
Play-offs are scheduled for September 15, 22 and 29 with the final on October 6.