Gloucester Beckons

Date published: Monday, April 8, 2013

OLDHAM RL Club can now concentrate on the season’s main objective — promotion from Championship One — after their defeat by Championship side Hunslet Hawks in the third round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup at the South Leeds Stadium.

Defeat was a major blow for the Roughyeds on the financial front, given that they needed to pull off an upset to have a chance of earning a more lucrative tie in round four.
An attendance of only 326 paid to watch Hunslet’s 36-10 win, which means Roughyeds will lose money on the competition which saw them drop out at the third-round stage for the first time in 15 years.
Coach Scott Naylor, meanwhile, has urged his players to keep their self-belief ahead of next Sunday’s return to league action with a first visit to the West Country to take on new club Gloucestershire All Golds.
Gloucester and another new club, Hemel Stags, both posted Challenge Cup wins away from home, Gloucester winning 26-16 against amateurs Skirlaugh on Humberside and Hemel hammering Ince Rose Bridge of Wigan 50-18.
Oxford, the third new club, lost 54-12 at Halifax.
Coached by former Oldham boss Tony Benson, who has signed nine of his ex-Roughyeds players, Oxford come to Whitebank in Oldham’s next home game on Sunday, April 28.
By then, loose-forward Liam Thompson and another back-row man, Michael Ward, may be pushing for places in Naylor’s line-up. 
Thompson, the 21-year-old former Wigan and Widnes player turned out for his first game of the season, after a shoulder operation, in the under-20s impressive 46-22 win against Rochdale at Whitebank on Friday, and came through unscathed.
“His know-how on the ball in the middle of the field was invaluable to us,” said Mark Davenport, assistant coach of the under-20s.
Ward also showed up well in his first game for a month after being given time off to study for exams.
The Roughyeds youngsters scored nine tries in total by winger Ric Ward, centre Niall Bradley (2), winger Reece Whitfield, hooker Liam Sargeant, second-rower Brad Hargreaves, loose-forward Thompson, substitute Sam Hughes and second-rower Michael Ward.