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Matt’s men well beaten in Challenge Cup exit

WE suffered a hefty Coral Challenge Cup defeat at Widnes Vikings, who scored nine tries in a 52-12 win after leading 30-6 at half-time.

The tie was effectively over after quarter of an hour, by which time the home side led 24-0.

Collectively and individually, the Roughyeds’ tackling, general defensive work and desire to stand tall and proud in defence was disappointing, to say the least.

The one consolation, as coach Matt Diskin pointed out afterwards, was that this poor performance came in the Challenge Cup and not in the Betfred Championship which has to be our priority this year.

Matt and his squad will be working overtime this week in a bid to put things right in the Championship clash with Bradford Bulls at Bower Fold on Sunday (March 1), kick-off 3pm.

In the cup-tie he wasn’t able to consider the claims of dual-reg centre Jack Croft or on-loan forwards Jimmy Beckett and Titus Gwaze because they would have been cup-tied and ineligible for their parent clubs if required in the later stages of the competition.

James Worthington was again left out because of a groin injury and Adam Brook got his first start so far this season at scrum-half with Dave Hewitt on the bench.

John Hutchings played his first competitive game of the year at centre, as did prop Ben Davies off the bench, both after long-term injuries.

Davies replaced Phil Joy midway through the first half and, like Joy, led from the front, but he suffered a recurrence of his long-standing back complaint and didn’t re-emerge for the second half.

Danny Bridge suffered head and neck injuries in the first few minutes but he was back after quarter of an hour in the dressing room, seemingly none the worse for his mishap.

The same couldn’t be said of hard-working substitute forward Matthew Fletcher, who damaged a shoulder early in the second half and went off in considerable pain, never to return.

Roughyeds were on the back foot for most of the game and were 30-0 down before they enjoyed a rare bit of momentum with back-to-back sets in the run-up to half-time.

Oldham’s only penalty of the first half led to clever kicks by half-backs Brook and Lewis Charnock, which each earned a drop-out and ultimately produced a try for Dan Abram which he also converted from right of the posts.

The second half began like the first — with a try to Widnes within a couple of minutes.

Oldham weren’t in the mood to offer decent resistance and thanks to a succession of one-on-one missed tackles the Vikings were able to continue their plundering.

Hewitt replaced Hutchings early in the second half with the No 7 taking up his normal spot at half-back; Brook going out on the left wing; and Kyran Johnson taking up the right-centre slot vacated by Hutchings.

Oldham seemed to have more ball in the second half than they had in the first half when Widnes’s vice-like grip on the game saw them with most of the possession and most of the field position.

Without ever posing Widnes with serious threats, Oldham looked better in the second half even though Davies and Fletcher were injured and out of the firing line.

Full marks to Joy for battling away up front and continuing to make the hard yards in the later stages, but how ironic that half-back Brook should get a couple of running chances while out of position on the left wing and had opportunities which the quicker Johnson never enjoyed before he was relocated at right centre.

Oldham’s second try came right on the final hooter when Widnes made a rare mistake in possession, the ball went loose and Danny Langtree picked up to race away and score an opportunist try which which Abram again converted.

Lewis Charnock, Phil Joy, Danny Bridge and Matty Wilkinson were Oldham’s best, but the team as a unit will have to play considerably better than this, particularly in defence, if they’re to get anything from Sunday’s key clash with Bradford Bulls at Bower Fold (3pm kick-off).

Scorers:
Widnes — goals, Owens 8/9; tries: Roby, Cross, Wilde (2), Craven, Baker, Johnson (2), Edge;
Oldham — goals, Abram 2/2; tries, Abram, Langtree.

WIDNES: Owens, J Johnson, Roby, Edge, Cross; Craven, Smith; T Chapelhow, Tomkins, Moran, Wilde, Grady, Baker. Subs: Lyons, Dwyer, Leuluai, Farnwoth.
OLDHAM: Abram, Kay, Hutchings, Leeming, K Johnson; Charnock, Brook; Joy,Owen, Spencer, Langtree, Bridge, Bent; Subs: Wilkinson, Davies, Fletcher, Hewitt.

Referee: Gareth Hewer; Att: 1,564; Penalties: 5-5

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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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