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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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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.

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