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Weekend off — and then the final push

Promotion-chasing Oldham RL Club will welcome this weekend’s break before hitting the final lap of the neck-and-neck race for Betfred League 1 honours.

With one exception, all Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs have a free weekend while the sport’s spotlight lands exclusively on Wembley’s double-header, featuring St Helens v Warrington Wolves in the Coral Challenge Cup final and then Sheffield Eagles v Widnes Vikings in the inaugural final of the new AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, both televised on Saturday.

The only other game is Friday night’s League 1 clash between London Skolars and Hunslet, which will be streamed on the Our League app from 7pm.

London’s challenge for a play-off spot has faded away in recent weeks, but Hunslet need every point they can get to finish as high as they can and to set up what promises to be a a crucial clash with Roughyeds at the South Leeds Stadium on September 8.

Oldham, meanwhile, will use this weekend for rest, rehab and relaxation before they bring down the curtain on their regular league campaign with trips to Coventry Bears on September 1 and to Hunslet on September 8.

“We’ve got a few bumps and bruises so the break will give us the opportunity to rest and freshen up in readiness for the final run-in,”

said head coach Scott Naylor.

Centre Zack McComb hurt an arm in the later stages of the Doncaster game and although he finished the match after quick treatment on the field it remains to be seen whether he will be right for the Coventry game.

If Oldham can extend their winning sequence from four to six they will be guaranteed a second-place finish with all the huge advantages that would give them in the play-offs.
To start with, they would get another break on the weekend of Sunday, September 15 while the teams finish third and fourth and fifth and sixth go hammer and tongs at each other.

On September 22 they would be at home and a win would carry them straight through to the final which would be played at the Vestacare Stadium.

Designed in Australia and re-adopted here for Super League, Championship and League 1 this season, the five-club play-off structure might seem complicated and difficult to fathom at first glance, but it is designed to finish up with the top two teams in the final if results go according to the form book and to final league placings.

It can’t be faulted for that.

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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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