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Ridyard the man who makes Swinton tick

MARTYN Ridyard orchestrates the in-form Swinton Lions side that will twice go head-to-head with Oldham in the run-up to Easter.

They have a strong, mobile pack and classy, pacy backs in Geronimo Doyle at full-back and Richard Lepori and Mike Butt on the wings, but 34-year-old stand-off Ridyard, who made his name at Leigh Centurions, is the new boy in whom Lions boss Stuart Littler is pinning so much faith for the upcoming Betfred Championship season.

Oldham go to Heywood Road, Sale on Sunday (12.30pm) in the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup and then, five days later, meet the Lions again at Bower Fold (Good Friday, April 2, kick-off 5.15pm) in the opening game of the Championship season.

So far, Littler’s Lions have beaten Bradford Bulls away in a friendly and accounted for fancied Newcastle Thunder in the first round of the Cup, while Roughyeds were beaten in friendlies by Featherstone and Halifax before producing a rousing show by the forwards to get rid of a big, experienced Barrow side in the first round of the cup.

Their key to another Cup win at Swinton would seem to be another dominant, powerful performance by the big men of the pack like Luke Nelmes, Liam Kirk, Martyn Reily, Shaun Pick and Tyler Dupree, but however coach Matt Diskin chooses to play it he’ll have to find a way of stifling Ridyard’s influence on the tie.

By all accounts, Swinton’s game plan seemed to revolve almost exclusively around the classy veteran in the win against Newcastle.

He’s the brains of the outfit and the ‘old head’ who can read any game perfectly and who still has the skill to kick opponents to death and the experience to make the right decisions at the right time.

Apparently, he ran the game against Thunder, kicked immaculately, rarely took a tackle and walked off with hardly a mark on him, his job well done — the mark of a polished performer and the master of his trade.

In his brilliant career at Leigh, he twice lifted the Northern Rail Cup and was key to the Leythers’ Championship title win in 2014.

In the same year, he was named Kingstone Press player of the year before enjoying spells with Huddersfield Giants and Featherstone, returning to LSV in 2019 before becoming Swinton’s big hope and big marquee signing for 2021.

He’ll keep deep and attempt to run the show in relative tranquillity, but Oldham will have to find a way of putting him under severe pressure, and that’s easier said than done.



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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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