New-Boy Bowman ready for the challenge

Date published: Thursday, June 20, 2013
OLDHAM new boy Anthony Bowman played a key pivotal role as Roughyeds won a cliffhanger in South Wales last weekend.

And although he’s only here for a month, initially at any rate, the 21-year-old on-loan utility player from Halifax plans to return to The Shay with fond memories of his time on this side of the Pennines.

He made an excellent start in Neath as skipper Lewis Palfrey’s half-back partner, slotting smoothly into the left-side creative job and looking as though he had been playing there all season.

Three of Oldham’s six tries could be attributed directly to the timing of his pass or the accuracy of his defence-splitting kick.

His big challenge, and he knows it, is to play like that all over again on home debut at Whitebank this Sunday in front of the discerning Roughyeds faithful.

Visitors Hemel Stags are only one place and two points behind Scott Naylor’s men and they will be buoyed by their 18-10 win last time out against previously unbeaten leaders North Wales Crusaders.

“It’s going to be another tough game,” said Bowman, “and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got our heads switched on from the start. The right mental approach can make all the difference.

“We didn’t play as well as some of the other lads said we could, but we got there in the end and kept our spot in the top three.

“I was brought up as a stand-off, but I’ve been playing centre at Halifax in more recent times.

“I wondered how I would go, back in the halves in a new team, but I immediately felt comfortable there and I enjoyed the game, I have to say.”

Earlier this season Bowman suffered torn ankle ligaments. He was laid up for a few weeks and, on his return, found it difficult to break back into Halifax’s strong squad.

Halifax-born, he signed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors when he was 16, but he couldn’t settle in Wigan, and away from his family, and eventually he returned to Yorkshire and signed for his home-town club.

Following his injury, it was suggested to him by Halifax boss Karl Harrison that it would benefit him to move to Oldham on loan.

Said Bowman: “Championship One is a much higher standard than the under-20s league, so I saw the loan move as a good opportunity for me, and that’s how it proved last Sunday.

“I’m really looking forward to the Hemel game, and I know the other boys are too.”

* Oldham’s game at Gateshead Thunder on Sunday week, June 30 (3pm kick off), will be played at Filtrona Park, home of South Shields FC, Shaftesbury Avenue, South Shields NE34 9PH. The ground is for sale at £350,000.