OLDHAM RL stand-off Lewis Charnock and hooker Gareth Owen have special reasons for wanting to produce five-star performances in the big game at Whitehaven on Sunday.
Charnock (26), born in Warrington, will have hit the 100 games-in-a-career milestone the next time he drags an Oldham jersey over his head.
Club captain Owen (29), who made his Oldham debut in the summer of 2014, is one game short of 150 for his home-town team.
Both players, therefore, will be hoping to produce top performances in keeping with “milestone magic” when Roughyeds go to Cumbria on Sunday (3pm kick-off) in a match which could have a big bearing on whether they can haul themselves out of the bottom two in the Betfred Championship relegation dogfight.
Having played 53 games for Barrow Raiders, Charnock, or Dougie as he is widely known in the game, will need no introduction to Cumbrian rugby league fans.
He started at St Helens and, like Owen who played more than 30 Super League games for Salford, he played six games in the elite competition for Saints before going out on loan or dual-registration to Rochdale Hornets, Leigh Centurions and Bradford Bulls.
Barrow came next, then Oldham, for whom the electrician has played 18 games at stand-off to set alongside his 53 for Barrow, 12 for Bradford, two for Leigh, six for St Helens and eight for Rochdale.
He was devastated when Saints released him, but looking back he agrees he was “a bit immature in his approach to professionalism.”
“I took it for granted and I didn’t work hard enough. It was a very disappointing time in my life.”
Owen, who has scored 16 tries in 149 games for his beloved Roughyeds, was captain when injury-ravaged Oldham were relegated in 2017 and he doesn’t want to experience that downgrade for a second time in five years as team leader.
Joe Hartley, another local lad, who was laid out by a tough tackle near the end of the Bradford game last time out, has passed a head test and is available for selection this weekend.