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Now for more thrills and spills v Thunder

OLDHAM have enjoyed many tremendous games with Newcastle Thunder in the last few seasons — none better than the 2019 Promotion Play-Off Final at the Vestacare Stadium — and the rivalry will continue in 2021 following the decision to elevate Thunder to the Betfred Championship next season.

The ambitious Tynesiders, whom we beat 18-14 in a thriller to book our passage to the Championship, got the nod to move up to the second tier to fill the vacancy caused by the forthcoming ‘promotion’ of one of six clubs from the Championship to the Betfred Super League to replace Toronto Wolfpack.

While there was unbridled joy for Thunder and their aspirations to make the North-East a rugby league hot-bed over the next decade, there was bitter disappointment for their rivals in application — Barrow Raiders, Doncaster, Rochdale Hornets and Workington Town.

The verdict means a repeat, this time in the Championship, of Oldham v Newcastle games, which have produced so many terrific clashes in the past.

Remember this (a description from Roger Halstead’s match report of the 2019 Promotion Final) ?

“It was a Promotion Final that had everything — thrills, spills, great tries, desperation tackles and Jimmy Beckett’s 63rd-minute winner which provided the 19-year-old and all the Oldham fans in a crowd of 1,204 with memories that will last a lifetime in Jimmy’s case and probably nearly as long for everyone else.”

The current situation regarding Championship places for 2021 sees nine clubs confirmed —- Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, newly-named Halifax Panthers, Newcastle Thunder, OLDHAM RLFC, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions, Whitehaven RLFC, Widnes Vikings.

The following six clubs have applied to take Toronto’s place in Super League — Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, Leigh Centurions, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique and York City Knights.

The five disappointed clubs when the big decision is made next week will remain in the Championship and join the nine named above to form a 14-club division.

Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE, who chaired the five-strong panel that elevated Thunder up the ladder, wished the Tynesiders good luck in their preparations to play “in what promises to be a vibrant and high-quality Betfred Championship competition.”

Oldham have high hopes of holding their own, having announced a squad of 27 players which includes a dozen new signings in James Barran, Tommy Brierley, Tyler Dupree, Callum Green, Ben Heaton, Ben Holcroft, Ryan Ince, Liam Kirk, Luke Nelmes, Shaun Pick, Martyn Reilly, Max Roberts.

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Club Cash

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

Download Application Form

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