Edwin in cup debut

Date published: Friday, March 14, 2014
OLDHAM are ready to take on the whole of West Cumbria when they face Egremont Rangers away tomorrow in the third round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
As Workington, Whitehaven, Kells and Wath Brow all travel to Yorkshire in the same competition, Egremont officials are urging rugby league fans across the county to get behind them at the Copeland Stadium (3pm kick off) and cheer them on to cup glory.
Of the 11 amateur sides going into Challenge Cup battle this weekend, Egremont believe they have the best chance of an upset because the other ten all face Kingstone Press Championship clubs.
A club spokesman said: “Two years ago our fantastic tie with Oldham at the Recreation Ground went down to the wire (Tony Benson’s side won 22-14 after going in at half-time at 10-10).
“We hope to repeat a performance like that and get as close as we can, backed by supporters from across the region.”
Oldham travel with a side showing several changes from the team that drew 20-20 with Hemel Stags.
Out go full-back Tom Whitehead, who has a niggling leg injury, prop Paddy Mooney, hooker Danny Whitmore and injured loose-forward Liam Thompson.
In come winger Mo Agoro, centre Edwin Okanga-Ajwang and forwards Mark Hobson and Phil Joy.
Agoro, Hobson and Joy will make their first senior appearances of the season, while skipper Lewis Palfrey has his first start at half-back.
Okanga-Ajwang, a 19-year-old centre on dual registration from Salford Red Devils, makes his debut off the bench.
A first-year student of sports science at Leeds Met, he played two Super League games for Salford last season.
OLDHAM: Nield; Agoro, Wood, Gee, Bloomfield; Palfrey, Robinson; Boults, Hughes, Ward, Langtree, Crowley, Hobson. Subs: Joy, Davidson, Files, Okanga-Ajwang.
Prop Jason Boults is the only survivor from the side given a mighty scare by the same amateur side on a Friday night in 2012.
Said coach Scott Naylor: “I haven’t dropped anybody as such. I’m making the best use of the squad. Some players were in need of a game and I can only play 17. It might be different again next week.
“It’s an old-fashioned cup tie. Egremont have nothing to lose; we have everything to lose.
“We need to go up there with a fantastic attitude and work ethic and we need to play well.
“You can’t go to Cumbria, have an off day and expect to come home with a win.
“All the pressure is on us. Everybody outside Oldham will be happy to see us slip up so they can talk up the competition and say how good it is for amateur clubs.
“We’ve got to shut-out issues like that, do a job, show how professional we are and hopefully we’ll get the right result.”