DAVE Hewitt needs one more game to reach the milestone of 100 Oldham appearances and he hopes to get it when Bradford Bulls come to Bower Fold on Sunday in a clash that has all the hallmarks of a rip-roaring affair.
The scrum-half scored two tries on debut at Gloucester All Golds in League 1 on June 27, 2015 after initially signing on loan from St Helens.
He went full time to Sheffield Eagles for a while with Adam Neal but most of the last five years he has been a Roughyeds regular, operating alongside several different half-back partners.
When Oldham won this Sunday’s corresponding game in 2017 in front of a crowd of 1,691, he was one of five members of the current squad who played in that thrilling 26-22 victory, partnering Scott Leatherbarrow at half-back.
Also sharing the limelight that day were Danny Langtree and Jack Spencer in the starting pack and Liam Bent and Ben Davies on the bench.
Another link involves Oldham personnel who have been with Bradford in the past, headed by coach Matt Diskin, a former Bulls captain who ended his glittering playing career in four seasons at Odsal.
Adam Brook was there for several years at Academy and under-19s levels and both Lewis Charnock and Danny Bridge have worn Bulls shirts on loan.
They lost Rhys Evans to Leeds Rhinos at the end of last season, but he has since returned to Bradford on loan and he is expected to lay on Sunday.
To date, the Bulls have suffered narrow league defeats by London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers, two of the strongest teams in the division, followed by a 22-0 win in the Coral Challenge Cup over community club Underbank.
Hooker George Flanagan was back for the tie after a long suspension, off the bench, and it coincided with his 200th appearance for the club. He is also expected to play on Sunday when the Bulls will be anticipating their first league win of the year.
They weren’t happy with their performance against the amateurs in a tie played on a heavy pitch and on a windy day.
“Like Underbank, Oldham will also be nitty-gritty, Rugby players don’t give up so we will have to put up a decent performance and show the right attitude if we want to get the right result.”
Diskin and his medical team will be checking on several players tonight (Thursday), including two forwards who were hurt in the Widnes cup tie, Matthew Fletcher and Ben Davies.
One of the best supported teams in the division, Bradford are expected to bring a large following to Bower Fold to watch a match that is of huge improtance to both teams and both clubs.
Hospitality is available at £40 a head which includes a seat in the main stand, two-course pre-match meal, match-day programme, official team sheet, car parking, pre and post-match interviews and presentations, use of a private pay bar, tea, coffee and biscuits at half-time.
Some clubs have abandoned match-day programmes but our view is that, for a lot of fans, they are traditionally part of the game-day experience.
This year we have revamped the 24-page, all-colour Roughyed Review to include an off-beat player focus, which includes pictures of their own choice taken away from the rugby field, and another feature on an Oldham player of the recent past.
We featured Gareth Owen and John Hough in the last Roughyed Review and this Sunday it will be Danny Langtree and Neil Roden.
Roughyed Review is on general sale at £3. There will be programme sellers in and around the ground. Look out for them.
In this issue each of our squad members is featured briefly with the names of their sponsors.
Some players are still available for sponsorship, including Cameron Leeming, Ben Davies, Ed Smith, Adam Brook, Harry Aaronson, Matthew Fletcher, Daniel Igbinedion, Jimmy Beckett, Titus Gwaze and our latest loan signing Ryan Ince.
Sponsors are named in each issue of Roughyed Review; are mentioned over the public address system at home games each time their player or players score; and are also named on the club website and our social media platforms when the opportunity arises.
To make further inquiries, or to take out sponsorship, ring the club on 07904 898177.
+ Anyone who would be interested in assisting on a voluntary basis with general duties in the hospitality suite on match days this season is asked to ring the club on 07904 898177.