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Nelmes doubt for derby cup challenge

IN-FORM prop Luke Nelmes is doubtful for Oldham RL Club’s second-round Betfred Challenge Cup tie against derby rivals Swinton Lions at Heywood Road, Sale on Sunday (12,30pm).

The big front-row man, who has been a tower of strength in the Roughyeds' pack so far, has a twisted knee and will be assessed at training on Friday night.

If the worst happens and he’s ruled out, coach Matt Diskin hopes to have both Phil Joy and Jack Spencer back in the running. Both have played only once, Joy in the first friendly at Featherstone where he picked up a knock and Spencer in the second warm-up game against Halifax.

Long-serving Joy, the biggest prop at the club and virtually an automatic choice for the past eight years, didn’t play against Halifax and against Barrow in the first round of the cup because of the injury.

However, he is now “back in the running”, said Diskin, who has to submit his 21-man squad to the RFL 48 hours before the game.

He said:

“The purpose of assembling a big squad with the emphasis on pack strength was to be in a position where we could replace quality with quality in the event of somebody having to drop out.

“If that happens with Luke (Nelmes) this week we’ll be well covered and ready to go.”

Two players received head injuries in a hard-fought battle with Barrow in the last round — one should be available this week (Martyn Reilly), but the other (Dec Gregory) is out.

Hooker Gregory suffered concussion while prop Reilly, also on the bench at the start, had to come off when he took a nasty blow to the forehead.

It was Gregory’s second concussion in a year.

To meet RFL concussion protocols and play again so soon after the injury he would need to be cleared by a neuro surgeon and the club can’t get an appointment until Monday at the soonest.

With Matty Wilkinson a long-term injury victim with a broken leg, it looks like club captain Gareth Owen, the most experienced of the three, can stand by for another long stint after being on the field for about 70 of the 80 minutes against Barrow.

He will be the only specialist hooker in the squad, but with no scrums at present because of Covid, the hooker’s main task is from dummy half at play-the-ball.

The tie will be broadcast live by the BBC and shown on iPlayer, the Red Button and BBC Sport’s digital platforms. No cost — its free-to-view.



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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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