Grand final fact sheet

Date published: Monday, September 20, 2010

Although this will be Oldham RL Club’s fourth Grand Final appearance in a row, having lost in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 finals, the club this year will benefit from a series of ‘firsts’.

A second-place finish in this season’s Co-operative Championship One was the best of the four seasons under review. In 2007 they finished fourth in National League Two behind Celtic Crusaders, Featherstone and Barrow. In 2008 they were third behind Gateshead Thunder and Barrow. And in 2009 they went into the play-offs from fourth spot in Co-operative Championship One behind Dewsbury, Keighley and York.

For the first time Roughyeds have been classed as the ‘home’ team in the final which will allow them to wear their normal home kit on the big day.

For the first time in three finals at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Oldham fans buying standing tickets from the club will be behind the posts at the end occupied by fans of winning teams Doncaster and Keighley in 2008 and 2009.

Oldham will go into the final boosted by the knowledge that, away from the Whitebank Stadium, they have beaten every team in the competition this year — for the first time in Oldham Rugby’s 134-year history.

For the first time also they have qualified for the final by the ‘easy’ one-game route, thanks to finishing top of the play-off six and beating York 41-32 in the semi-final qualifier.

In 2007 they had to beat Swinton and Workington at home and Barrow away to get to the final; in 2008 they lost to Doncaster at Boundary Park but then beat Rochdale at home to make it through; and in 2009 they had to account for Swinton and Hunslet at Boundary Park and York away.

Nine members of last year’s final team will be in the running again this year —- Lucas Onyango, Marcus St Hilaire, Paul O’Connor, Neil Roden, Jason Boults, Martin Roden, Wayne Kerr, Matty Ashe and Ben Heaton.

No one has played in all three finals but Onyango (2007, 2009), Neil Roden (2007,2009), Ian Hodson (2007, 2008), O’Connor (2008, 2009) and St Hilaire (2008, 2009) have played in two.

How they lined up:

2007 (lost 24-6 to Featherstone at Headingley): Langley; Ford, Littler, Hughes, Onyango; Roden, J Coyle; Tonks, Hoyle, Mervill, Sinfield, Roberts, Costin. Subs: Hodson, Wilkinson, Tamghart, Brooks. Try, Hughes; goal, Langley.

2008 (lost 18-10 to Doncaster at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington): O’Connor; Langley, St Hilaire, Nanyn, Cardiss; Joseph, J Coyle; A Robinson, Brooks, Mervill, Goulden, Halliwell, Roberts. Subs: Hodson, Menzies, Baines, Tamghart. Tries, Hodson, Nanyn; goal, Nanyn.

2009 (lost 28-26 to Keighley at Halliwell Jones): Reilly; Onyango, St Hilaire, Joseph, O’Connor; N Roden, T Coyle; Boults, M Roden, Kerr, Baines, Goulden, Lawton. Subs: I’Anson, Menzies, Ashe, Heaton. Tries, Menzies (2), N Roden, St Hilaire, Kerr; goals, Baines (3).

The Roughyeds’ office at Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (0161 628 3677) will be open each day this week — to 5pm on Friday — for the sale of Grand Final tickets, Grand Final T-shirts, club scarves etc. Bookings are also being taken for seats on the supporters’ coaches (£10 a head) which will leave Whitebank at 1pm. Fans can book to come back after the Oldham v York game or after the Featherstone v Halifax clash.

The Whitebank Stadium clubhouse will open at 11am on Sunday, selling bacon butties for fans who wish to turn up early to see the team leave at 12.30pm.

The team will return to Whitebank after the game and the clubhouse will reopen at approximately 6.15pm as soon as staff get back from Warrington.

Office opening hours this week are: Monday, 9am to 7pm; Tuesday, 9am to 5pm; Wednesday, 9am to 5pm; Thursday, 9am to 7pm; Friday, 9am to 5pm.