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Barrow ready for 'brutal' cup-tie

BARROW Raiders boss Paul Crarey has told his local paper that the League 1 side will be preparing for a ‘brutal’ Betfred Challenge Cup first-round tie against Matt Diskin’s Roughyeds.

In anticipation of early-season games being played behind closed doors, the RFL has confirmed that the tie will be played on Saturday, March 20 at Bower Fold (12.45pm kick-off) and streamed live on Our League, free to season-ticket holders.{ .tarts }

Other fans can take advantage of an Early Bird £4.95-per-game offer, compared with £10 if they pay on the day. The eight first-round ties will be played over Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, all streamed, and also available on pay-to-view are day passes at £15 and weekend passes at £20.

Oldham, like all clubs, will be relying on big viewing figures, given that Covid protocols and behind-closed-doors rugby brings considerable extra costs — with no income through the turnstiles — at a time when they have had no games for a year with little or no income.

Moreover, clubs have to underwrite all broadcasting costs. They take 90 per cent of any profit, but it is still regarded as essential to their financial well-being that the online initiative proves popular with supporters.

Crarey, the Barrow coach, experienced many Oldham v Barrow games during Scott Naylor’s seven years in charge of Roughyeds, followed by one game when he was opposed by Matt Diskin — a pre-season game at Craven Park in January last year.

Oldham won 22-18 on Diskin’s debut as Roughyeds boss with tries by Dan Abram (2), Harry Aaronson and Danny Bridge, plus three Abram goals against one of his former clubs.

Stand-off Lewis Charnock, another ex-Raiders player, had a try disallowed.

Of the 18 players on Oldham duty, six are no longer at the club — Kay, Worthington, Aaronson and Brook in the backs and Igbinedion and Smith in the forwards.

The Barrow boss is getting his boys ready to “slug it out” — and, more than likely, without a warm-up game.

The League 1 season isn’t scheduled to start until May and, as things stand now, Crarey’s plan is to arrange warm-up games then rather than now.

He told the Barrow Mail:

“It is always very physical when you play Oldham. They’ve won so many games like that. We’ve got to be prepared to slug it out. We expect the tie to be brutal.

“They have good players like Dan Abram and Lewis Charnock. They’ve got the strikes, but so have we.

“It will be different with no crowds – a different entity that we are not used to – but we are so looking forward to playing again.

“We don’t look any further than the game that’s right in front of us. The players know me and they know we’ll only focus on Oldham. We won’t be focusing on Swinton or Newcastle.”

Season-ticket holders will receive codes, direct from the club, with which to gain access to the Our League presentation.

Full details regarding Our League for ALL fans, season ticket holders or otherwise, can be found on this website, following the links.

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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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