David Cookson Debut

Date published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ROUGHYEDS’ new boy David Cookson might make his senior Roughyeds debut at Workington on Sunday.

The 22-year-old former Oldham St Anne’s and Great Britain under-23s amateur international, who signed pro forms last week after a string of impressive performances in the reserves, trained with the first team last night and was then told to keep Sunday free.

By all accounts he looked the part in training, prompting the belief that he and his boots may be on the team bus when it leaves for Workington this weekend.

A native of Rochdale, Cookson plays equally well at centre or second-row and has built a reputation in John Hough’s high-flying reserve squad as a tough operator who knows how to score tries.

He said: “I can’t wait for the opportunity to show what I can do at a higher level.”

If opportunity knocks on Sunday it will be a tough baptism for Cookson against a Workington side which will be be striving to beat the Roughyeds for the third time this year after a 31-12 win at Derwent Park in March and a 24-22 triumph in a thriller at Whitebank in July.

Tony Benson’s men are riding high on confidence, however, after a run of six wins from eight which included comprehensive victories against three play-off rivals in Whitehaven (40-20), Keighley Cougars (36-14) and Rochdale Hornets (38-16).

In-form full-back Ben Heaton damaged an ankle in the 48-34 win over South Wales Scorpions last time out and he is under treatment in the hope that he might be ready in time.

The Junction Inn, Ripponden Road (0161 633 2759) hope to run coaches to Workington on Sunday (kick off 3pm) and to Widnes RU Club on the following Saturday, September 10 where Widnes Vikings reserves will clash with Roughyeds reserves in a play-off battle of the top two reserve league giants (kick off 2.30pm).

It will cost £17 to go to Workington, including breakfast at The Junction and food on arrival back, and £10 to go to Widnes. Seats need to be booked quickly.

Oldham Roughyeds Supporters’ Association (ORSA) will meet at Whitebank tomorrow (thurs) night at 8pm when officials will reveal how much was raised in the recent sponsored walk to Rochdale for the joint benefit of ORSA and Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

Tickets for the Extended Scholarship under-18s presentation night at Whitebank on Friday, September 9 (7.30) are on sale from Lansdowne Road (0161 628 3677) at £3 adults and free for children, including pie and peas supper.

Phil Costin, coach of that squad, will also be in charge of the town’s Service Area under-18s when they play a friendly at Wigan tonight.