Centurions to march on Whitebank

Date published: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

OLDHAM RL Club’s programme of pre-season games will conclude with a visit by Leigh Centurions to Whitebank on Saturday, February 15, kicking off at 2.30pm.

Each of the Roughyeds’ three warm-up matches will be against Championship opposition from the higher division —- Barrow Raiders away and Swinton Lions and Leigh, both at home.

Diary dates:

Sunday, February 2, Barrow v Oldham at Craven Park, kick-off 2pm.

Sunday, February 9, Oldham v Swinton at Whitebank, kick-off 3pm.

Saturday, February 15, Oldham v Leigh at Whitebank, kick-off 2.30pm.

As there is no Northern Rail Cup competition this year, the season proper for Championship One clubs will start on Sunday, March 2 when Scott Naylor’s men face the long trek to Neath to play South Wales Scorpions.

Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “The Leigh game will put the finishing touches to a pre-season programme that will test our boys in every sense.

“Leigh have been one of the strongest clubs in the Championship over the last few years, always with a big squad and always with sound back-up from a very competitive second string.

“They open their league campaign on the same weekend, so the team that comes to Whitebank will comprise those first-team squad members who are not on senior duty plus leading lights from their talented under-20s squad.

“It will be a quality side, make no mistake.”

Leigh finished fourth in league action last season, behind Featherstone, Sheffield and Halifax, and won the Northern Rail Cup for a record-extending fourth time with a gripping 43-28 win against Sheffield in the final at Halifax.

Their final line-up included two ex-Oldham players in Greg McNally at full-back and Tommy Goulden in the second row.

Oldham and all other clubs from the two Championship divisions will enter the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup competition at the third-round stage on the weekend of March 15/16.

Super League clubs will be in the draw for the fourth round, to be played on April 5/6.

Neil Roden, newly-appointed coach of the Roughyeds’ under-20s squad, met his new charges for the first time last night when they reported back for the start of pre-season training at Oasis Academy, Hollins Road.