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Own promises positive response

GARETH Owen, in his fourth season as club captain, has promised that Oldham RL will respond positively to their poor performance in a 52-12 Coral Challenge Cup defeat at Widnes Vikings last weekend.

Although newly-promoted Roughyeds regard Betfred Championship consolidation as their priority this season there was a feeling around the club, and in the dressing room, that squad members had let themselves down in the Cup.

Bradford Bulls, one place beneath Roughyeds in the Championship table and still seeking their first win, are Sunday’s visitors to Bower Fold and Owen and the players know they need to roll up their sleeves, hit the ground running, and show the desire and commitment that was missing against the Vikings.

“I think you’ll see a different Oldham this week,” said the Roughyeds skipper. “In defence, particularly, we need to up our game and I’m sure we’ll do that against the Bulls.

“We’ve had a long chat about what went wrong at Widnes and we know what to do to put the record straight.”

Ryan Ince
New signing Ryan Ince, a winger from Leigh Centurions, trained with his new team mates for the first time on Tuesday night and will be in strong contention for a place in the side this weekend.

He’s here on a month’s loan initially, having joined Centurions from Widnes Vikings where he scored 19 tries in 22 appearances last season.

The 23-year-old is no stranger to Championship standards and levels and Roughyeds will be looking to him to make a big impact in March when three of their four league games are at Bower Fold — against Bradford this Sunday, March 1; Dewsbury Rams on Sunday week, March 8; and York City Knights on Sunday, March 29.

Their one other game next month is on Saturday, March 21 at Leigh.

The Challenge Cup exit means they will have a free weekend in the middle of the month — March 15 to be precise –and coach Matt Diskin will no doubt welcome that given that he and his medical team are currently working hard to clear a casualty list that includes James Worthington, Ben Davies, Jode Sheriffe, Ed Smith and Matthew Fletcher, who suffered a damaged shoulder at Widnes last week.

On-loan forward duo Jimmy Beckett and Titus Gwaze didn’t play at Widnes because that would have cup-tied them and their parent clubs didn’t want that and it will be interesting to see whether they are back in the frame to face John Kear’s Bulls.

The importance of picking up league points in home games against opponents from mid-table or below can’t be over-estimated and with three such games in March it’s going to be a crucial month for Diskin and his troops.

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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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