Oldham will battle back

Date published: Monday, March 28, 2011

ROUGHYEDS chairman Chris Hamilton and head coach Tony Benson have promised that Oldham will battle back from the wreckage of a 68-24 mauling by Swinton Lions at Whitebank.

Having lost two of their first three games in Co-operative Championship One — they lost only three in the league all last season — Tony B’s men must now face up to another tough test at Keighley Cougars on Sunday.

They are due a win against the Yorkshire outfit after five losses in the last six meetings, home and away and in a Grand Final, going back to the summer of 2007.

Said Chris: “We’ll stay strong, and as we have shown over the years we’ll bounce back from this to get to where we want to be. We always knew it was going to be tough, given that we had only 14 fit players at training last Thursday night.

“On the positive side eight of the 17 players used against Swinton were Oldham lads and we had debut-makers in Shaun Robinson and Alistair Williams who both acquitted themselves well.

“Shaun only trained with the squad for the first time on Saturday morning, but everything he did was first class. He collected every ball they put up to him and carried it back with aplomb.

“Alistair also did well after showing his commitment to the cause the week before. In keeping with our luck at the moment Michael Ward played in the reserves on the Saturday and was to be our 18th man at Workington the next day.

“He woke on Sunday morning with a sore knee, but Alistair is not the earliest of risers and by the time he got our call he had missed the team bus.

“Rather than let anybody down, he immediately jumped into his car and drove to Workington and that says a lot about him and about his attitude.”

Currently ruled out by injury or illness are John Gillam, Ben Heaton, Luke Sutton, Matthew Fogarty, Neil Roden, Marcus St Hilaire and Tom Wood-Hulme.

Gillam (eye socket) will be out for a few weeks while club captain Roden (groin) and joint vice-captain St Hilaire (hamstring) are almost certain to miss the Keighley game.

Said Tony: “We’ll be taking stock and seeing where we are up to, but we’ve got to bounce back and put up a creditable performance at Keighley.”