Bears here again in Ladbrokes Challenge Cup

Date published: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
OLDHAM RL Club have welcomed the opportunity to open up the new season at lWhitebank by taking on League One new boys Coventry Bears at home in separate cup competitions on the first two weekends.
Last night’s draw for the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, made in Huddersfield by rugby league legends Alex Murphy and Malcolm Reilly, produced an Oldham-Coventry clash on the weekend of March 7/8 —- a week after they go head to head at the same venue in round one of he new League One Cup.
Backed  by their new partners Bradford Bulls, Bears will play their first two games as a semi-professional club in Oldham.
Said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton: “Each year, the Challenge Cup is an adventure for all clubs and fans.
“It will seem strange to be playing the same opponents two weeks in a row in different cup competitions, but it means we will quickly become part of the Coventry club’s history by playing them in their first two games and their first two cup ties at semi-pro level.
“More importantly, we will have the opportunity to kick off the new season with wins In separate cup competitions if we perform well in front of our own fans.”
Bears ran Hemel Stags close, going down 28-22, in a pre-season friendly and coach Tom Tsang is confident they will hold their own in the sport’s third tier.
They will be captained by Aussie Simon Phillips, who will have the support of a squad leadership group, comprising of Alex Brown, Stephen Coleman, Max Cooper and Richie Hughes.
Three non-league teams are guaranteed places in round four of the Challenge Cup when the 12 Kingstone Press Championship Clubs enter the competition.
Into the hat for the third-round draw went the 14 League One clubs and the ten non-league survivors from the previous round.s
Draw: North Wales v Widnes West Bank; Elland v Featherstone Lions; Wath Brow Hornets v Newcastle Thunder; Hemel Stags v Oxford; Oulton Raiders v Normanton; Leigh Miners v West Hull; OLDHAM v Coventry; Kells v Rochdale Hornets; London Skolars v Swinton; Barrow v Keighley; South Wales Scorpions v York; University of Gloucester v Skirlaugh.