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Fingers crossed for Declan Gregory

OLDHAM RL Club’s medical staff will be checking on several players before Matt Diskin names his squad for Friday’s opening Betfred Championship game against Swinton Lions at Bower Fold, kick-off 5.15pm.

Given that club captain and first-choice hooker Gareth Owen had to do a full 80 minutes when Roughyeds lost 23-14 at Heywood Road last Sunday in the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, all Oldham fingers will be crossed in the hope that Declan Gregory comes through in time.

Having suffered concussion for the second time in a year during the first- round win against Barrow Raiders, Gregory was ruled out of the Heywood Road cup clash and, in following RFL concussion protocols, had to be cleared by a neuro surgeon before he could play again.

With Gregory and Matty Wilkinson (broken leg) on the casualty list, Owen had to go it alone in the cup-tie — and rarely these days do hookers in any team stay on the field for the entire game.

Head coach Diskiin called up young half-back Callum Green on the bench and his pre-match plan was to replace Owen at the appropriate time, switch stand-off Lewis Charnock to hooker and pair up Green with James Barran at half-back.

The best laid plans of mice and men . . .

After half an hour Barran was forced to quit with a groin injury so Owen had to soldier on.

By comparison, the Lions played THREE hookers in Luke Waterworth and two subs, Billy Brickhill and Paul Nash. All three were used, while Owen battled on solo.

Nobody at Oldham will want to see that scenario repeated so Roughyeds have fingers crossed that Gregory comes through successfully when he has his examination with the specialist.

If he’s cleared, everything will then hinge on whether the specialist’s written report arrives in time.

Barran will also be in for treatment when the squad meets up for training, as will powerful, young forward Tyler Dupree, who quit on Sunday with a recurrence of ankle trouble.

Swinton, who have been handed a home game against Warrington Wolves in the third round of the Challenge Cup, are also through to the semi-final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, along with York City Knights, Widnes Vikings and Featherstone Rovers.

Their visit to Bower Fold on Sunday for this behind-closed-doors Championship opener will be their last game before their Warrington cup-tie.

Like Oldham, their squad for Friday will depend on fitness tests, including those on prop Sam Brooks, full-back Geronimo Doyle and tough forward Paddy Jones, all of whom missed Sunday’s cup-tie.

The game will be screened live on Our League, free for Oldham season ticket holders; £4.95 for everyone else if bought before midnight on Thursday; and £10 if bought on Friday.

If you intend to watch no better time than to do it NOW and do it HERE.



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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.

Download Application Form

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