Oldham to light up Whitebank in semi-final showdown

Date published: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
WIN or lose, Oldham will light up Whitebank in tonight’s iPro Sport Cup semi-final against North Wales Crusaders.

It will be the first time a competitive senior game has been played under lights in the Roughyeds’ four and a half seasons there.
And to mark the occasion (7.30pm kick-off) the club has hired three sets of tower lights from main shirt sponsors A-Plant to augment existing floodlighting  and to give fans a better view of what promises to be a finely-balanced thriller.
Swinton Lions beat Newcastle Thunder 36-28 in the other semi-final last night to book their place in the final at Blackpool on May 23 during the RFL’s Summer Bash weekend for Championship clubs.
Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “League One clubs have really embraced this new cup competition.
“We are proud to be in the semi-final in its inaugural year and we’ll be even prouder if we win tonight.”
Coach Scott Naylor reported a clean bill of health after last night’s training session when he announced a 19-man squad.
On-loan centre Jon Ford is ineligible because he wasn’t signed in time to play in either of the first two rounds, in which Oldham beat Coventry at home and Barrow away to reach the last four.
Naylor will pick from the other 16 who played in the derby-day League One win at Rochdale last Friday, plus Adam Files, Steven Nield and Tom Dempsey.
Oldham (from): Holmes, Clay, Tyson, J Ward, Palfrey, Roper, Neal, Owen, P Joy, Crowley. Langtree, Thompson, M Ward, Hughes, Gee, Mason, Files, Nield, Dempsey.
Said Naylor: “It’s a massive incentive to include the final in ‘Summer Bash’  We’d love to be part of the big day.
“Crusaders are favourites for both cup and league, however, so we’ll need to be at our best tonight .”
The challenge for the Welsh side is to become the first visiting team to win at Whitebank since September, 2013.
They can call on several former Oldham players who know Whitebank well, but the ones most likely to play are half-back Jamie Dallimore and utility man Alex Thompson.
Crusaders (from): Johnson, Massam, Roets, Reardon, Turner, Patton, Dallimore, Walker, Ashall, Burke, Smith, Wild, Middlehurst, Wright, Ormsby, Thompson, Duffy, Hobson, Rooney.
“Oldham have always been a stand-out side in this division, but we’ve shown good form this season so far and that’s adding to our confidence,” said coach Anthony Murray, himself an ex-Oldham half-back.