OLDHAM will be looking to retain the Law Cup when they take on Rochdale Hornets at the Crown Oil Arena on Sunday January 21, 3pm kick-off.
Two tries in the last five minutes from Zac Baker and Joe Hartley secured an 18-14 victory – and the trophy – for Oldham at the Vestacare Stadium, last year.
Sean Long’s men will be looking to make it two Law Cup wins on the trot – a feat not achieved since 2019.
The 71st instalment of the Law Cup, which has been tradition since 1921, will be the final warm-up game before the season kicks off in the 1895 Cup a week later.
Head coach Sean Long will be going all out to secure the silverware once again.
“It’s really important, as there’s a lot of history between the two clubs,” said the Roughyeds boss.
“It’s not a friendly by any means – we’re playing for a trophy, and we want to win as much silverware as possible in 2024.
“We’ve got a new group of lads together and we will be going into the game with a very strong squad.
“They’ve signed a couple of ours from last year, and they’ll be up for it, so it’ll be a really good game and atmosphere.
“The lads are excited; It’s a good game to play, a local derby, and I’m sure the fans will show up in their numbers as well.”
The fixture, as evidenced by the previous ten results, has been closely-contested with the average winning margin just over 9 points.
There could be eight former Oldham players in Rochdale colours in the 71st edition, after Hornets secured the services of Joe Hartley, Luke Nelmes, Deane Meadows, Jordan Andrade, Tommy Brierley, Gregg McNally, Matty Wilkinson and Martyn Ridyard in the off-season.
The Law Cup, originally the Infirmaries Cup, is named after the Rochdale MP A J Law who, back in 1921, put up the cup for a pre-season game in order to raise money for hospitals in the two towns.
Oldham’s man of the match will be presented with the Heritage Trust trophy, as has been the tradition since 2004.
The recipient will join the ranks of the likes of Deane Meadows, Danny Langtree and Richie Hawkyward – individuals who have all lifted the trophy in the preceeding three Law Cup fixtures.
Admission prices for the game are £10 for adults and free for under-16s.
Rochdale Hornets note that there are no limits on capacity at the Crown Oil Arena, but the extent to which it will be open will depend on ticket sales.
Fans are encouraged to secure tickets early via the Hornets ticketing page