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Well done Waterhead — now for National Cup semi-final

OUR heartiest congratulations go to Waterhead ARLFC, whose 38-12 win against Orrell St James on Saturday puts the Peach Road lads only one win away from the BARLA National Cup open-age final.

The National Cup hasn’t had a resting place in Oldham since St Anne’s won it in 2003.

Before that, we go back to the great days of Saddleworth Rangers, who won it in 1991, 1993 and 1994, but Waterhead have never won it, which makes their home semi-final against Myton Warriors of Hull a game not to be missed by local rugby league fans.

We’ll keep you informed when we get confirmed details of the date.

The place of attainable dreams was buzzing on Saturday when the squad coached jointly by Jon Perks and Keith Brennan ran in seven tries to book their place in the National Cup’s last four.

Jenson Hamilton, Danny Bridge, Matthew Fogarty, Phil Joy (2), Kieran Dean and Gareth Owen were try scorers for Waterhead, who have recruited five new players for 2022 – Gareth Owen, Danny Bridge and Phil Joy, who have all retired from Roughyeds, plus Andy Joy and Anthony Morrison, who have also played professionally.

Their semi-final opponents Myton (Hull) are in the NCL first division – two divisions higher than Waterhead.

The National Conference starts this coming Saturday (March 5) with Saddleworth going to Myton Warriors in division one, while Waterhead host derby rivals Oldham St Anne’s in division three’s match of the day.

Rangers are back in division one after accepting an invitation to replace Underbank (Huddersfield), who have folded.

The Standard Cup semi-finals — St Anne’s v Waterhead, Saddleworth v Mayfield — have also to be squeezed into a crowded early-season programme.

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