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Fletch predicts big reaction

PACK prospect Matthew Fletcher has predicted a vastly-improved performance from Roughyeds in their second and final pre-season game against Halifax Panthers.

For the first time in more than a year, Rugby League returns to Bower Fold, Stalybridge this Saturday, March 13 (4pm kick-off) when Fax, or Panthers to give them their new name, meet an Oldham side still smarting from a 58-10 defeat at fancied Featherstone Rovers last weekend.

Despite Featherstone’s billing as second favourites to win promotion to Super League, it wasn’t the return to action that Roughyeds boss Matt Diskin had hoped for.

Young forward Fletcher, one of six Oldham-born players in the 23 used at the Millennium Stadium, was one of the few to emerge with credit, alongside centre Ryan Ince, loose-forward Martyn Reilly and replacements James Barran, Tyler Dupree, Luke Nelmes and Declan Gregory.

Of those, the two young Oldham-born boys, Fletcher (21) and half-back Barran (22) did really well against one of the best and most powerful teams outside Super League.

Fletcher crowned a sound performance as a replacement forward by scoring Oldham’s second try with a strong surge to the line midway through the second half.

Barran set up both Oldham tries — the first for Ryan Ince with a defence-busting grubber kick to the corner; the second for Fletcher with a cute, well-timed short pass.

Said Fletcher:

“None of us emerged with heads held high. We expected to do a lot better than we did, but we were beaten in every aspect of the game.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but it was our first game for a year against quality opposition and it was weird playing in an empty stadium. In many ways it was like having a training session — you could hear more, but no atmosphere at all. Featherstone coped with it far better than we did.

“Bodies were sore the next morning, to be expected, but in the main we came through okay and now we’re concentrating on putting things right for next week. We’ll go well against Halifax. You’ll see a different Oldham, just wait and see.

“It’s a funny division. The top five or six will be battling to go up and the bottom five or six will be scrapping to stay up. I’d like to see us finish around half way.

“I don’t score many tries, so it’s always enjoyable when I do and this one was no exception, even though it didn’t affect the outcome.

“James Barran had good reason to be satisfied with his game but he’s from the St Anne’s club and I was originally at Waterhead, so my congrats to him are muted . . . joking, of course !.”

Next up, the Halifax game will be live streamed on OuRLeague. There will be no charge for Oldham season-ticket holders, but it will cost £4.95 for the rest, if bought before Saturday, and £10 on the day.

Season-ticket holders will need a code, supplied by the club, in order to access coverage. They will be issued before weekend. Anyone who didn’t supply their email address when purchasing their season ticket should let the club have it immediately by email to:

enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk



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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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