Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Oldham go to Cornwall as one of only two unbeaten pro teams out of 35

HAVING hammered Newcastle Thunder 74-0 last time out, on the day Keighley Cougars suffered a shock 26-18 home defeat by Hunslet, Sean Long’s OLDHAM are top of the Betfred League One table and are now the ONLY team in tier three still to have a 100 per cent record.

They are also one of ONLY two teams, from the 35 which make up Super League (12), the Championship (14) and League One (9) to remain unbeaten in league rugby this season. The other team still to have its colours flying high is former SL outfit Wakefield Trinity, who have put relegation well and truly behind them to win each of their first seven games in the Championship and to qualify also for a Wembley date with Sheffield in the final of the 1895 Cup.

This is the year of upsets, however, (like Hunslet’s win at Keighley, Cornwall’s triumph yesterday at Midlands Hurricanes and Castleford’s 28-28 draw at Leigh in Super League’s round ten).

Oldham are hot favourites to win the League One title and thus win promotion automatically, but they are sufficiently experienced to know that, in any particular game , a two-horse race can go either way on the day, hence the determination to be at their best in Cornwall, who posted notice of their own intent with that upset 24-22 win in the Midlands, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.

Jay Chapelhow hit the nail on the head when he told Roughyeds TV:

“We are going to get the best version of every team in this league. We are a new project and with the amount of investment that’s gone into it and with the quality we have in the team. opponents are going to be gunning for us. They have nothing to lose. We are already seeing that.

“We relish it and enjoy the challenge. Hopefully, our opponents will soon see the best version of Oldham too,”

Mike Ford, meanwhile, told the last Partners’ meeting that he and the board were delighted with how things were going on and off the field and that there would be exciting announcements to be made soon.

He said:

“I still don’t think our story has been fully told. We are taking this club on the ride of a lifetime, but as I keep saying publicly we can only do it together. We are reconnecting with the town and we are highly encouraged by what has been achieved since we took over little more than a year ago. Exciting things are happening on the field and and also in the community, at Melrose, with the kids and with the Foundation.

“We want to make Oldham great again and I’m sure we have the people in place to do it, but there are also reasons why I say our story has still to make a bigger impact.”

He went on to tell the story of two hugely influential rugby league men of the local community who attended the recent club dinner but who admitted afterwards that they had not yet been to Boundary Park to see the current League One table toppers in action.

Added Mike:

“As our catchphrase says. ‘We are stronger together’ and that’s why we need everybody at BP to cheer the boys home and why I say our message still hasn’t been told fully.”

Around him were representatives from the Oldham Amateur League, the Oldham RLFC Heritage Trust, Rugby Oldham (Supporters Trust) and the Oldham Players’ Association.

Throw in Mike Ford and the parent body and that’s a wide cross-section of the Oldham rugby league community.

We are indeed stronger together. . . and you don’t come much stronger than Sean Long’s Oldham who sit proudly on top of League One with six wins from six, with games in hand and with the best ‘for’ and ‘against’ figures in the division.

To concede only 42 points in six games, or an average of seven points a match, is remarkable even by Oldham standards.

No wonder the club’s custodians (their words) are in SEVENTH Heaven at the way things are going.


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