Players Charged

Date published: Friday, August 24, 2012

FOUR players ordered from the field when fighting broke out in the 80th minute of last Sunday’s Oldham-Workington game at Whitebank have each been charged by the Rugby Football League.

Oldham prop Jamie Acton and Workington full-back Elliott Miller, who were both sent off, and Workington back-row forward Brett Phillips, who was sin-binned, have each been charged with grade ‘B’ punching offences, carrying a recommended suspension of one to two matches.

Luke Stenchion of Oldham, who traded punches with Phillips and was also shown the yellow card, faces a less serious grade ‘A’ charge with a recommendation to the disciplinary tribunal that any suspension should be for no more than one match.

All four cases have been referred to the tribunal.

On behalf of Acton and Stenchion, Roughyeds have the option of entering an early guilty plea, but that decision has not yet been made and won’t be until club chairman Chris Hamilton has studied reports and scrutinised the incident on DVD.

In any event, Stenchion won’t play again this season because of a broken bone in his left hand.

A one-game ban, which normally accompanies an early guilty plea, would put the strong-running Acton out of Oldham’s final game of the regular season at Gateshead on Sunday week, September 2.

Even at this early stage caretaker boss Martin Roden is anticipating concernsabout his front-row for the trip to Tyneside, given that David Ellison has not been training recently because of work commitments and young Danny Langtree, who excelled on debut against Workington, will be away on holiday.

Said Roden: “It’s a holiday that has been booked a long time. Danny had not anticipated being called up to the first team. He thought his season would end when the reserves had finished all their games.

“At the moment my middle unit is looking a bit thin on the ground because of the situation we find ourselves in with regard to Stenchion, Acton, Langtree and Ellison.”

Valu Bentley, currently having treatment for a calf injury, and Chris Clarke can do a job in the front-row as back-up for Jason Boults and Liam Gilchrist and that may be the direction in which Roden has to go.

In the meantime, Roughyeds will be anxiously waiting for the result of this evening’s London Skolars v Whitehaven game at the New River Stadium.

A Whitehaven win would put Roden’s men in touching distance of a top-six play-off spot, needing only a victory at bottom-club Gateshead to clinch sixth place.