Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Bent ready to tackle himself into the ground

​GET your money on Liam Bent to be a long-odds man of the match in Oldham RL Club’s promotion decider against big-spending Newcastle Thunder at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday.

Tackling-machine ‘Benty’, who regularly turns in 40 tackles a game and has been known to top an astonishing 60, was a surprise winner of the Supporters’ player-of-the-year award at the end of last season.

Headline-hitting Danny Langtree, currently the most prolific forward try-scorer in Betfred League 1, cleaned up most of the other awards and then moved up the ladder to join Super League outfit Hull FC on a two-year, full-time contract.

By Easter he was back, thanks to Hull’s goodwill in agreeing to release him from his contract.

He has since formed a second-row partnership with Danny Bridge that Roughyeds believe is the best in League 1.

Langtree, Bridge, full-back Ritchie Hawkyard, centre Cameron Leeming and utility forward Emmerson Whittel are all going to be “go to” players who most fans will expect to take the final by storm.

There are some equally proven match-winners in the Newcastle side — centre Kieran Gill, who isn’t happy if he doesn’t get a try hat-trick; full-back Lewis Young and winger Alex Clegg, who are all in the division’s top seven try scorers.

But rival coaches Scott Naylor and Simon Finnigan are together in their belief that the side that goes up to the Championship will be the one that has the better defence, is more structured and is able to complete its sets and keep in the good books of experienced referee Gareth Hewer.

Oldham, especially, know the dimensions of Vestacare’s 4G pitch like the back of their hands.

They haven’t been beaten there since Easter and they’ll be out to dominate Thunder’s forwards up the middle and thus keep to a minimum scoring chances for the likes of Gill, Young and Clegg.

They’ll have to tackle like they’ve never tackled before and that’s where 21-year-old Bent, the ‘baby’ of Oldham’s big-match line-up, will come into his own.

His job isn’t one that normally attracts the headlines or wins individual awards. He isn’t going to go 30 metres up the middle and score a sensational try.

But he’ll tackle, tackle and tackle until opposing forwards and half-back are sick of the sight of him and it’s his leadership by example in defence that could just tip a final that’s too close to call in Oldham’s favour.

“I love tackling. It’s what I’ve always liked about rugby since I started out at Wigan St Jude’s as a boy,”

says Bent, who had 17 games on loan at Oldham from Salford Red Devils in 2017 and then became a fully-fledged Roughyeds forward when Salford released him at the end of that season.

He was devastated to be shown the door by the Super League outfit, but delighted to join Oldham permanently and, in his words, to repay the faith shown in him by head coach Scott Naylor and chairman Chris Hamilton.

In the two seasons since then he has made enough tackles and brought down enough men twice his size to earn the faith and respect of fans, team mates and opponents alike.

He was “over the moon” when the fans voted him their hero a year ago and he will want to repay that twice over by tackling his way into the Championship and at the same time enabling departing boss Naylor to leave the club on a pedestal.


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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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