Injury Hit Oldham ahead of Swinton Game

Date published: Thursday, March 24, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club have run into a major injury crisis ahead of Sunday’s tough challenge against a strong Swinton Lions side at Whitebank (3pm kick off).
 
Out of a squad of 23 no fewer than TEN players are on the casualty list, three of whom are already out of Sunday’s game while the other seven are seriously doubtful.
 
Teenage back Matthew Fogarty, who damaged a knee at Workington last Sunday in a collision with team mate Mark Brocklehurst, has no chance of being fit in time.


 
First-choice left-wing John Gillam is out for a few weeks after an operation to repair a fractured cheek bone — and centre Marcus St Hilaire is still struggling with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the last two games.
 
“I can tell you now that those three won’t play,” said harrassed coach Tony Benson, “and it’s touch-and-go for a lot of the other guys, who will be queuing up for treatment at training tonight.
 
“We were lucky in 2010 in that we went the whole of the campaign without ever having to face a situation like this, which has hit us only two games into the new league season.
 
“We are behind the eight ball — and that’s putting it mildly.
 
“And just to show that it never rains but it pours, I’ve had a text from Tom Wood-Hulme informing me that he had been involved in a car accident and was on his way to hospital with a sore back and neck.
 
“We’ll check him out ourselves tonight, providing he is able to get to Oldham, but until we know more I’ve got to regard him as a doubt for weekend.”
 
There are concerns about six more —- Ben Heaton (tonsillitis), Martin Roden (hamstring), Luke Sutton (dead leg), Dave Ellison (ankle), Neil Roden (groin) and Ben Wood (ankle).
 
Heaton and Martin Roden didn’t play at Workington where Sutton, Ellison, Neil Roden and Wood picked up the injuries that threaten to keep them sidelined on Sunday.
 
Added Benson: “We’ll be monitoring them closely over the next few days, and hoping for the best. Ben Wood couldn’t train on Tuesday so we will see how he is tonight. Everybody will be given until Saturday, but at this stage I have serious doubts about some of them.
 
“We’ve fielded a very young side in the last few games and we may have to do the same again this week.
 
“It’s just our luck that experienced men like Neil Roden, Martin Roden and Marcus St Hilaire are all hurt at the same time.
 
“Between them they fill the roles of captain, ex-captain, joint vice-captains, assistant coach and fitness conditioner.”
 
Young second-rower Michael Ward (knee) is also under treatment in the hope of playing for the Reserves against Keighley at Whitebank on Saturday (2.30pm kick off).
 
On the strength of his performance against Widnes Reserves last Saturday he was named 18th man for the senior side going to Workington the next day, only to wake up on Sunday morning with a painful knee..
 
Alistair Williams got the 18th man role in his place.