Oldham RLFC April Update

Date published: Monday, April 16, 2012

AS Oldham wait to see who they will play in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup, chairman Chris Hamilton has praised the work of coach Tony Benson and his squad.

Roughyeds will be the only Championship One side in the draw, which will be broadcast live on BBC local radio stations today immediately after their 3pm news bulletins.

“Barrow are the bookies’ favourites to win Championship One,” said the Roughyeds chairman, “and we’ve beaten them twice in a fortnight in league and cup.

“Tony (Benson) and the players deserve a lot of credit for that, and for steering us into the last 16 of the sport’s biggest cup competition.

“Our second-half performance yesterday was as close as you are ever going to get to perfect and it was particularly pleasing coming so soon after our disappointing showing at Rochdale on Good Friday.

“It’s how you respond to setbacks that shows what you’re made of and we couldn’t have responded any better than we did in beating Barrow more comprehensively than the score might suggest.”

He paid tribute, too, to the work on and off the field of one of the side’s elder statesmen, Paul Noone.

Describing him as a “top professional”, he said: “He is everything we hoped for when we signed him, and more besides. A lot of what he does on the field goes unnoticed. He keeps a cool head and sets a terrific example to the younger players.”

Neil Roden didn’t play against Barrow after failing a fitness test on the thigh muscle injury which he received in the first few minutes of the Rochdale game.

It is too early yet to assess his prospects for Sunday’s game at London Skolars.

Benson will also be monitoring full-back Miles Greenwood, who gave a try-scoring performance in the cup victory despite a chest infection which almost caused him to pull out of the side just before kick off.

“He was coughing. He wasn’t good at all,” said Benson. “I told him the decision was his, but because of the composition of the substitutes bench he would have to play the full 80 if he played at all.

“Not only did he play, but didn’t he play well. We’ll have to see how he shapes up now during the week.”

Danny Whitmore, who stood in for Neil Roden and won the club’s official man-of-the-match award, will make a personal appearance at the RFL disciplinary committee tomorrow evening with the support of his club chairman.

Mr Hamilton will also be there to support hooker John Clough.

Both are charged with offences arising from the rough-house derby battle at Rochdale on Good Friday, Whitmore with sustained punching and Clough for allegedly pushing an opponent into a boundary wall after the final hooter.