Derby-day delight for on-song Oldham

Date published: Monday, July 13, 2015
ON-SONG Oldham RL Club did the double over local rivals Rochdale Hornets, went to five wins in a row and pulled in the best Whitebank crowd of the season so far and the biggest derby attendance since 2011.

It doesn’t come much better than that.
“It was another fantastic performance by the lads,” said chairman Chris Hamilton. “It was a similar game to the previous win against York. We had to work hard to stay in the game at times, but the players have a real determination and a great commitment to keep the run going and to keep ticking all the right boxes.”
The attendance of 725 beat this year’s previous best of 671 for the visit of North Wales Crusaders in May, the Roughyeds’ last defeat.
Wins since then have included three against promotion rivals Swinton Lions, York City Knights and now Rochdale.
Crowd figures for the previous four derby clashes at Whitebank numbered 619, 664, 518 and 599.
Said coach Scott Naylor: “Our fans gave us great vocal support both during the game and after it and they can enjoy derby bragging rights now for the next couple of months or so.
“It’s right that they should, but we can only enjoy this latest win for a few hours because we then have to start focusing on our next challenge which is London Skolars away next Sunday.
“We’ll be giving them just as much respect as we gave to York and Rochdale in the last two games.”
Sticking with his horses-for-courses selection policy, Naylor rested David Hewitt and Kenny Hughes and was forced into making a third change because Nathan Mason was recalled by his full-time employers, Huddersfield Giants.
They were replaced by George Tyson (after injury), Steve Roper and Jacob Fairbank on dual-reg from Huddersfield Giants.
Said man of the match Josh Crowley: “Nobby (Naylor) wasn’t entirely happy with us at half-time, when we went in at 14-14, because he felt we had more to give.
“We are a very fit side, however, and I was always confident that we could go on and win it in the second half.”
The Past Players’ Association sponsored the game and were represented by Martin Murphy, Adrian Alexander, Lou Laverty, Kevin Flanagan, Dave Kenway, Frank Hilton and John Watkins.