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Kirk going through head-injury protocols

FRONT-ROW forward Liam Kirk, who took a blow to his head in the first few minutes of Oldham’s clash with Whitehaven at Bower Fold on Saturday, is currently following the RFL’s return-to-play protocols for players who suffer head injuries.

He was knocked-out when making a tackle and helped from the field, never to return.

Martyn Reilly replaced him off the bench, but it meant that, for all but four minutes, Oldham were a big front-rower short in terms of making substitutions and spreading the work load.

It reminded fans of a similar setback at Batley Bulldogs last month when Danny Bridge damaged a knee in the first couple of minutes. Like Kirk on Saturday, he also went off and stayed off. He was out for three weeks, in fact.

When substitutes were first introduced many years ago, they were brought in specifically to reduce the negative impact of injuries, but in the modern game all 17 players are usually used and those on the bench, mainly forwards, are there for tactical reasons.

That’s why losing a key member of the pack so early can be so damaging — and it was certainly a big setback on Saturday when Oldham suffered their first home defeat of the season, 36-4, and missed the opportunity to go fifth in the Championship.

As it is, they are in 11th place, ahead of Swinton Lions, Widnes Vikings and Newcastle Thunder and their next big test is at second-in-the-table Featherstone Rovers next Monday night, May 17, with an 8pm kick-off.

The game has been moved from the Sunday to Monday evening so that, under Government guidelines, Rovers can welcome back some fans, but only a few.

They are currently restricting entrance to their own season-ticket holders, with a capacity of 1,600. Away fans are not allowed.

Oldham will have to play much better than they did in their disappointing display against the Cumbrians if they are to take points off Featherstone, whose only defeat so far this season was a 34-14 second-round Betfred Challenge Cup loss to Super League club Hull FC.

It is too early yet to assess Kirk’s chances for Monday, but on-loan centre Jack Croft looks like being out for a week or two with a knee injury, while the club is waiting for reports on Danny Langtree, who suffered a wrist injury in the later stages of the ‘Haven game.

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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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