Clay, Owen in upbeat mood

Date published: Thursday, September 11, 2014
HUNSLET hold no fears for Oldham’s two latest recruits, Adam Clay and Gareth Owen.
Neither winger Clay nor hooker Owen had arrived at the club when Roughyeds lost 38-12 at the South Leeds Stadium in April.
But they both played well in the 24-23 win against the Yorkshiremen at Whitebank in July, Owen on debut and Clay in his second game, but his first at home.
The ex-Barrow winger opened the scoring early as Roughyeds used the slope well to lead 16-6 at half-time.
Hunslet bossed the second half to go 23-16 up with nine minutes left, but late tries by Danny Langtree and Josh Crowley edged Oldham home.
The same teams meet again tomorrow (8pm) at the South Leeds Stadium in the opening game of a five-club play-off series, with the outright winner going up to the newly-structured 12-club Championship.
“It’s the biggest game of the season and we’re up for it,” said Clay, who was Barrow’s top try scorer in the Championship last year.
“We’re good enough to go all the way and win promotion. I firmly believe that.
“Why shouldn’t we have that belief when we’ve beaten every team in the division and nobody has turned us over at Whitebank.
“We’ve not scared of anybody.
“You’ve got to have a happy camp when going into big games like this, and we’ve certainly got that. I’m loving my time here, and that’s all you can ask for.”
His upbeat comments are echoed by local lad Owen, who says he is ‘buzzing’ at the prospect of playing in his first play-off clash.
Not that he will be fazed, having played in 36 Super League games for his parent club, Salford Red Devils, including an appearance off the bench against Widnes in the 2012 Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium which, over two days, attracted nearly 64,000 fans.
Said Owen: “When we played Hunslet last time it was a great game and it was a brilliant feeling to beat them in the last minute, especially as it was my first game for the club I supported as a boy.
“We’ve done it once, we can do it again. They’re a big, aggressive side so to start with it’s going to be a tough battle down the middle.
“Hopefully, our ball skills will then do the rest. It will be easier to go round them than through them.”