RFL disciplinary charges

Date published: Friday, April 13, 2012

FOUR Oldham players face RFL disciplinary charges following the rough-house derby clash at Rochdale.

Danny Whitmore, Martin Roden and Jamie Dallimore are in hot water for throwing punches in a 59th-minute fight.

Hooker John Clough could be banned for up to EIGHT matches if he is found guilty of pushing Rochdale’s Adam Bowman into the perimeter wall in the dying seconds of an acrimonious battle, which Hornets won 18-10.

Only one Rochdale player, Bowman, has been charged for his part in the 59th-minute bust-up.

It started when Oldham’s young forward Alex Thompson took a high shot for which Roughyeds were awarded a penalty.

With the game finely balanced at 16-10 to Hornets, Thompson was the only player to be sin-binned — for alleged retaliation.

He was led from the field protesting his innocence and the RFL’s match review panel has supported his claim by finding him NOT GUILTY of fighting.

It was while Oldham were down to 12 men that Hornets landed the penalty goal that gave them an eight-point cushion.

To rub salt into Roughyeds’ wounds, they now have four players on charges to Rochdale’s one.

Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “That gives something of a lopsided version of events.

“In the 15 years that the new Oldham club has been in existence it’s the first time we’ve had four players charged in one game. That’s not good. But anyone who was there will know what I mean when I say it takes two to tango.”

Roden, Dallimore and Rochdale’s Bowman each faces a grade A punching charge which means they could be banned for one game or escape with no further action.

Whitmore is on a more serious grade C charge of sustained punching with a likely punishment, if found guilty, of suspension for two to three matches.

The club’s main concern is for Clough, whose grade E charge carries with it a recommended ban of four to eight matches.

He is charged with ‘conduct against the spirit of the game . . . pushing an opponent into a wall’.

Oldham will enter early-guilty pleas for Roden and Dallimore, which means they will escape a ban and get away with a warning. A player, however, can use the early-guilty option only once in any 12-month period.

That leaves Clough and Whitmore, two of the club’s three front-line hookers.

Clough will make a personal appearance before the disciplinary tribunal next Tuesday, supported by club chairman Hamilton.

He added: “We will probably do likewise with Danny Whitmore, but before we make a final decision I want to further study the match DVD and speak to the player. I’ve spoken to John Clough, but not to Danny.”

None of this will affect the make-up of the side in Sunday’s fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie against Barrow Raiders at Whitebank (3pm kick off).

Paul Smith, who suffered from blurred vision at Rochdale, has been cleared to play, but Neil Roden (dead leg) and David Cookson (severely dislocated finger) will be given as long as possible to prove their fitness.

Said coach Tony Benson: “We’ve beaten Barrow in the league, and we can do it in the cup. If we could earn a tie against a Super League club in the last 16 it would have a positive affect on the club’s finances, and that’s important.

“We are working hard to put the Rochdale game behind us and to pep-up our attack. In that regard it will take only little things to make a big difference.”

Barrow boss Darren Holt is expected to return to the side at stand-off and to promote 22-year-old former Wigan Academy hooker James Dandy ahead of Liam Finch and Jack Pedley, who has a shoulder injury.

To ease turnstile congestion fans can buy tickets up to 5pm this evening at the club’s office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (0161 628 3677).