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It’s all down to what happens on the day — Scott

​ON-FIRE Oldham will be going for their 11th win in their last 12 games against big-spending Newcastle Thunder in Sunday’s big promotion decider at the Vestacare Stadium.

Take away a surprise home defeat by Doncaster in an early round of the play-off and Thunder can boast a similar surge into the Promotion Final from third place in the final Betfred League 1 table — one point and one place behind Sunday’s hosts.

Neither Oldham nor Thunder believe recent form will count for anything though.

Said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor:

“It’s a 50-50 game in my opinion; very tough and with little between us.

“We seem to be more comfortable at home, which is good, and we play a certain way against Newcastle, which seems to work for us.

“I’m not surprised we’ve done so well in the last three or four months because we work on things during the season and generally go stronger towards the end.

“There’s a general confidence and belief among the lads in the way I want them to play and then sticking to it.

“We all agreed it’s the best way for us to play. It’s a joint thing involving us all.

“Past form, though, will count for nothing. It’s a final, it’s going to be tough, and it will hinge on which side plays best on the day.

“I think Newcastle have better individual players in people like QLT, Lewis Young, Misi and Keal Carlile, who can control a game from dummy half if he’s allowed to.

“The forwards are athletic and go for 80 minutes, but we’ve got home advantage and we haven’t lost at the Vestacare in the league since last April so I reckon it’s going to be some game.”

He confirmed that he had a fully-fit squad available so it’s likely to be a very similar side to that which beat Doncaster 22-12 in the semi-final.

Thunder are also expected to be as you were, or close to it, but managing director Mick Hogan hopes his side can play with the same verve and vigour that turned over the Dons at the second attempt.

He said:

“Last week’s win will mean absolutely nothing in terms of what happens at Oldham.

“It will come down to preparation this week and to which side turns up on the day. The side that wins will be the one that gets its defence right, does the little things right, takes its chances and doesn’t give away penalties.”

Usual admission prices will apply and Oldham are urging fans to buy tickets in advance even though the game is not all-ticket.

Payment by cheque or cash only and the office will be open until 6pm tonight (Wednesday, October 2); from 10am to 3pm tomorrow and from 10am to 6pm on Friday.

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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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