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Roughyeds look forward to Thursday's cup draw

AS Oldham RLFC looks forward to Thursday’s draw for the first two rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup – and a scheduled return to action in the prestigious knock-out competition on March 21 – it is interesting to look back at how Roughyeds have fared in the Challenge Cup in the past 20 years.

Unlike this year, when community clubs and most Betfred League 1 clubs are not included because of the need to have a smaller competition because of Covid,  Oldham have played amateur opposition 19 times since season 2000 and have won the lot, including a 34-10 victory against Saddleworth Rangers on a snow-covered Boundary Park pitch in 2006.

Two years later they travelled to Aldershot to play The Army, winning 56-10 in a match which will be remembered for the outstanding performance of The Army’s winger Ben Seru, a Fijian who soon afterwards signed for Oldham only to suffer a career-ending knee injury on his professional debut at Wakefield Trinity in the 2008 quarter-final.

The progress to the quarter-final that year, in which Roughyeds followed up their win at Aldershot by winning at Swinton Lions in round four and at Dewsbury Rams in round five, was one of the local club’s Challenge Cup highlights in recent times.

Oldham were hit hard by the early Seru injury and went down 46-14 at Belle Vue, watched by a large contingent of travelling fans, who enjoyed their side’s appearance in the last eight.

The team on that memorable occasion lined up like this: Paul O’Connor; Ben Seru, Marcus St Hilaire, Mick Nanyn, Lucas Onyango; Neil Roden, James Coyle; Jason Boults, Simeon Hoyle, Richard Mervill, Tommy Goulden, Rob Roberts, Phil Joseph. Subs, Matty Brooks, Adam Robinson, Simon Baldwin, Said Tamghart.

Other memorable Challenge Cup wins were a 17-6 home victory against Hull KR in 2001; a 60-30 home win against French club Lezignan in 2009; and a 27-6 success at Halifax in 2018.

But nothing could compare to the 2016 fifth-round win at Hull KR when Roughyeds, then finding it tough going as a first-time Championship side, took on a Super League outfit on Humberside and stunned the previous year’s beaten Wembley finalists - to say nothing of the entire sport - by winning 36-22 with a performance that will be etched in the memory of the many fans who made the trip.

Full-back Richard Lepori scored two of the Roughyeds' six tries with others added by Will Hope, Steve Roper, Adam Clay and Gary Middlehurst, with Lewis Palfrey kicking six goals from seven shots.

The team was: Richard Lepori; Adam Clay, Sam Gee, Danny Grimshaw, Jamel Chisholm;  Lewis Palfrey (capt), Steve Roper; Phil Joy, Gareth Owen, Jack Spencer, Gary Middlehurst, Danny Langtree, Will Hope. Subs, Michel Ward, Kenny Hughes, Adam Files, Liam Thompson.

In the next round they were drawn at home to Warrington Wolves and went down 70-10 as the powerful Wolves went on to lose narrowly to Hull FC in the final at Wembley, followed by a similar fate against Wigan Warriors in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

This year, due to Covid, the first and second rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup are also doubling-up as early rounds of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup and the four teams still remaining in the Challenge Cup after the first two rounds (Super League clubs come in at round three) will also be 1895 Cup semi-finalists with two chances of reaching Wembley.

The 16 teams going into Thursday’s Challenge Cup draw are as follows:  Barrow Raiders, Batley Bulldogs, Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Keighley Cougars, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, OLDHAM, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions, Whitehaven, Widnes Vikings, York City Knights, West Wales Raiders.



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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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