JAMIE Dallimore “can’t wait” for his first senior game at Whitebank in eight weeks.
Due to a three-match RFL ban, his last Championship One appearance on home soil in front of Oldham RL fans was in the 26-16 defeat by Whitehaven on May 20.
His suspension over, the Roughyeds half-back returned to the side at Whitehaven last time out and scored a trademark solo try in the Cumbrians’ 42-20 win.
Now, he is gearing up for a big game when London Skolars come to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm), believing they could still sneak into the fourth promotion spot if Whitehaven freeze on the run-in.
“Breaks in the fixture list meant that my three-game ban kept me sidelined for six weeks, and to be training regularly throughout that time knowing I wouldn’t be playing at the weekend was absolutely awful.
“I love playing. And I found it hard to train with the other lads when they were getting ready for a game, and I wasn’t.
“Had I been born a fortnight later, a reserve game would have counted towards the ban under the age-related rules that apply to these things, but I even missed out on that so I couldn’t play against Rochdale.”
Before that, he was forced to sit out the 35-30 home defeat by South Wales Scorpions and the desperately unlucky 30-28 defeat by North Wales Crusaders at Wrexham where an Oldham try in the dying seconds was disallowed for a forward pass.
He was finally back in action at Whitehaven in a side still smarting from Rochdale’s shock 30-4 win at Whitebank seven days earlier.
A brief run-out off the bench in the reserves on the Thursday night before the trip to Cumbria was designed to ease him back into the game and provide him with some match fitness.
“It was great to be back in the side at the Recreation Ground,” said the 23-year-old former Great Britain amateur captain. “But it will be even better to run out at Whitebank on Sunday and get stuck in.
“Hopefully, we will get a win at last. A lot of people have written us out of the promotion race, but the four clubs underneath Whitehaven, including ourselves, will all think they’ve still got an outside chance if the Cumbrians slip up badly.
“Until it’s mathematically impossible you can still hope, and we won’t be on our own this weekend in thinking like that.
“We’ve got to put recent results behind us, build on the improvement we displayed at Whitehaven, get as many points as we can in our last six league games and see where it takes us.
“At the very least we are also fighting to make the top-six play-off.
“After four recent losses in finals, wouldn’t it be typical of the sort of thing that happens to Oldham if we were to win it this year when, for the first time, it will have no bearing on who goes up.”