Hughes,Wood in fitness fight

Date published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
DANNY Whitmore is waiting in the wings as Kenny Hughes fights for fitness in the build-up to Oldham’s battle of the top two at York on Sunday.
Like last week, the story from Whitebank ahead of the next game is all about who will play at hooker — and why.
In Whitmore’s absence, due to a one-match ban, vice-captain Sam Gee got the job in the Gloucester game and Hughes kept his usual role on the bench as replacement hooker.
Both played well, but Hughes damaged an ankle near the end, left the ground on crutches, and remains a major doubt for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at the Huntington Stadium (3pm kick off).
He wasn’t able to train last night, but coach Scott Naylor hasn’t given up on him yet and he will be re-assessed later in the week.
“He’s doubtful for the York game, but beyond that we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Naylor.
Whitmore for Hughes would be an obvious way to go, but Naylor’s big decision would then centre on whether to keep Gee in the starting line-up or give Whitmore first crack.
Ben Wood, who has a lower-leg problem, is also doubtful, but Mo Agoro (knee) is expected to be ready in time.
There is good news too of George Tyson, who wasn’t considered for the Gloucester game because he had strained his back playing for the under-20s.
“His hamstrings were also affected, but he should be okay by weekend,” said Naylor.
The club’s medical staff are monitoring new signing Adam Clay, who is having treatment for an ankle injury and waiting for a scan.
Explained Naylor: “He can train, as he did last night, and he would play if I wanted him to, but he’s about 75 per cent fit and he needs the scan to ascertain exactly what’s going on.”
Winger Dale Bloomfield, top try scorer in Championship One with 17, and second-row man Josh Crowley are included in the Kingstone Press team of the week.
Though both were devastating on attack in the in the 46-6 win against Gloucester, they were happier that the All Golds’ only try was scored on the other side of the field.
Said Bloomfield: “In the previous game against Oxford we were a little bit weak defensively on our side. It was something we needed to work on.”
Crowley added: “We know we can score points, but we’ve struggled defensively at times. We’ve put that right now and with big games coming up we need to maintain it.”
Top team: Watson (Hunslet); Hill (Hemel), Maun (Hunslet), Day (York), Bloomfield (OLDHAM); Reynolds (York), Yates (London Skolars); Roche (York), Hood (Hunslet), Robinson (London Skolars), Cox (London Skolars), Crowley (OLDHAM), Thompson (Oxford).