Rochdale come out on top in derby

Date published: Monday, June 25, 2012

AFTER eight league games without a win Oldham RL Club have slipped to sixth in Championship One and are now six points behind Whitehaven, who currently command the fourth promotion place on 22 points.

Rochdale, 30-4 victors at Whitebank yesterday, have edged Roughyeds out of fifth place. They have 16 points, like Oldham, but take the higher place because of a superior for-and-against difference.[singlepic id=1369 w=320 h=240 float=left]If Tony Benson’s men lose by more than 12 points at Whitehaven on Sunday they will go nine points adrift of the top four with only six more games to play¬† — three of those against the teams currently occupying the top three places and already looking certain to go up.

“We’ve always got a chance until its mathematically impossible,” said coach Tony Benson.

“All we can do is keep battling on. We are more or less level with Rochdale, but to be realistic we would probably have to win nearly every game.

“We can only take it one game at a time. We have seven days in which to turn things round before we go to Whitehaven.

“We don’t meet up again until Tuesday, but I’ve told the players to start thinking about the game and preparing themselves immediately.”

John Gillam (foot), Mark McCully (shoulder) and Valu Bentley (shoulder) picked up knocks, and they will be assessed later in the week.

Added Benson: “The Rochdale game was finely balanced in the first half until it began to go away from us when Paul Crook kicked a 40-20 up the slope and into the wind.

“He only got it because John Gillam had damaged his foot seconds before and he couldn’t get back to cover the kick.

“That’s typical of the little things that are going against us right now.”

Roughyeds reserves, beaten 16-8 at Keighley last time out, entertain York at Whitebank on Thursday, kick off 7.45pm.