Dallimore has to watch big derby

Date published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

RULES and regulations on RFL suspensions have killed Oldham half-back Jamie Dallimore’s dream of playing in Sunday’s big derby clash at Whitebank.

He thought last Thursday’s reserve-team game at York would have counted towards his three-match ban in which case he would have been free to line up against neighbours Rochdale Hornets.

When club officials checked the relevant rule, however, they discovered it was age-related . . . and Dallimore missed out by 12 days.

He was born on August 20, 1988 and celebrated his 23rd birthday in August, 2011.

Explained club chairman Chris Hamilton: “Reserve-team games only count towards a ban if the player was under the age of 23 on September 1 last year, so Jamie missed it by less than a couple of weeks.

“It was a close call, but it means the Rochdale derby will be the third and final game of his suspension.”

Dallimore was suspended for three games for making what was considered by the match review panel to be a dangerous tackle in the defeat at Doncaster on May 13.

He has already missed the games against South Wales Scorpions at home and North Wales Crusaders away and once the Rochdale derby is out of the way, he will be free to return to the side at Whitehaven on Sunday, July 1 — six weeks after his last game.

While Dallimore’s hopes of a derby-day return have been dashed, Roughyeds’ new boy Daniel Smith is keeping fingers crossed that he will be given the chance to test himself in the intensity of a game against the old enemy.

The 19-year-old prop from Leeds Rhinos comes on dual registration and pairs up at Whitebank with his 18-year-old Rhinos stablemate, Colton Roche, both here on Barrie McDermott’s  recommendation.

Leeds hope they will grow up fast when taken out of their comfort zone of age-group rugby.

Said Smith: “I’m really looking forward to a new experience. I can’t wait.

“It would be fantastic if I got the chance to wear Oldham colours for the first time in a big local derby.

“To play at first-team level in the Championship or Championship One is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

“Playing against men will hopefully improve my game, and it will certainly be a different experience for me.

“I love it at Leeds, where I was promoted to the first-team squad last year, although I’m still waiting for my chance at the highest level.”

Coach Tony Benson hopes to have his 17 settled at training tomorrow night so that Saturday’s session can take the form of a full-scale run-out.

The Junction Inn, at the bottom of Ripponden Road, will provide free transport to the ground for fans from that side of town. It will leave from The Junction at 2pm.

Places on the bus need to be reserved in advance, either at the bar or by ringing 0161 633 2759.

Roughyeds reserves, chasing their third win in a row, go to Keighley Cougars tomorrow (thurs) night, kicking off at 7.45pm.