Battle against the Welsh

Date published: Friday, May 13, 2011

THE cousins Martin and Neil Roden — assistant coach and club captain — are set to give Oldham RL Club a double tonic in historic Caerphilly on Sunday.

Both trained normally at Whitebank last night, after missing last week’s cup tie at Hull because of injury, and will be back in the side against South Wales Scorpions (3pm kick off), adding essential experience and rugby nous.

Five others who didn’t play on Humberside — Danny Whitmore, Ben Heaton, Carl Forber, Jack Bradbury and Jason Boults — will also be keen to return to the side for a battle against the Welsh in a historic town overlooked by its castle, once the biggest fortress of its kind in Europe.

Early in the week there was a scare over young Matthew Fogarty, who couldn’t train on Tuesday because of a stomach bug, but he was back running on full throttle last night.

On the down side Andy Isherwood is likely to be given another week to fully recover from his shoulder problem, while Marcus St Hilaire is out after damaging a hand in an accident at work.

He was due to return to the side after a calf injury, but he phoned the club yesterday to report his accident and to tell club officials that he was being examined and treated in a Yorkshire hospital.

Stand by, though, for a possible reappearance — for the first time this season — of the Roughyeds’ prodigal son, Mick Fogerty, who last week agreed a deal covering the remainder of this season and the whole of next.

“There are one or two fundamentals still to be sorted out with Mick,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton, “but we hope to be getting down to that at some point today.”

Coach Tony Benson is expected to select from the following 22 when he finalises his squad at training tomorrow morning: Robinson, Fogarty, Wood, Diveney, Bradbury, Ellison, Clough, Gilchrist, Noone, Clark, Bentley, Ward, Mansfield, Stanchion, Sutton, N Roden, M Roden, Whitmore, Heaton, Fogerty, Forber, Boults.

Scorpions, who may give a debut to former York and Rochdale forward Chris Clough, have been attempting to whip up support for their first game in Caerphilly by visiting local schools and other community organisations in the district, a rugby union stronghold.

Tickets are on sale at various union clubs throughout the region.

Benson said: “We’ve got a big task ahead of us, especially after the long journey down there, but we’re ready for it and we’re looking forward to it.

“Scorpions are improving rapidly and scoring plenty of points. They can certainly attack, and they are probably the biggest improvers in the competition.”