Scott faces “Thommo” dilemma

Date published: Thursday, June 19, 2014
SCOTT Naylor’s plans to get Liam Thompson back in action after injury as quickly as possible are being frustrated by second-team postponements.
Highly-rated Thompson has been out for more than three months following an operation to repair a fractured cheekbone.
He was lined up to play in the under-20s at Keighley last Thursday night, but Roughyeds had a dozen other players who were unable to be considered because of injury so they were left with no alternative but to ask for a postponement.
Naylor chose not to throw loose-forward Thompson into first-team action against South Wales Scorpions three days later.
Instead, the 22-year-old former Wigan and Widnes back-rower, would have been pencilled in for the under-20s at Featherstone tomorrow (Friday) night, but that game has also been called off and, like the Keighley fixture, placed in the ‘pending’ tray.
Oldham say both games will be rearranged for later in the season.
While the Keighley postponement was a case of Roughyeds being hit by an injury crisis at under-20s level, circumstances surrounding the Featherstone fixture are not as clear, although it is evident that it suits both clubs to meet at a later date.
The game was originally scheduled for this Saturday, then brought forward to tonight, then rearranged for tomorrow and then, by mutual agreement of both clubs, called off and put back to a later date.
Oldham’s next scheduled under-20s game is home to Halifax on Saturday, July 5.
They have a blank weekend at the end of this month, but if it isn’t possible to rearrange one of the outstanding games for then, they will have gone four weeks without a game by the time Halifax come to Whitebank.
In those circumstances Naylor may feel he has no choice but to throw Thompson in at the deep end of first-team rugby.
On the other hand, Danny Langtree is available again after suspension for Sunday’s game at Gateshead Thunder and both George Tyson and Ben Wood showed up well in the win against Scorpions.
Tyson was substituted near the end because of a back complaint, but he is expected to be fully fit by weekend.
Skipper Lewis Palfrey, meanwhile, has learned that he is currently the leading goalkicker in Championship One.
Statistics released today by the RFL indicate that his nine goals against Scorpions have pushed him to the top of the divisional list, ahead of York’s Benn Hardcastle and Gloucester’s Matt Bradley.
Even though Brett Robinson and Steve Roper held down the half-back positions against Gloucester away and London Skolars at home, Palfrey has 36 league goals to his credit — two more than Hardcastle and six more than Bradley.
Palfrey also shares joint lead on overall points — 76 — with Hardcastle and Hemel’s Barrie-John Swindells.
Goals: Palfrey (OLDHAM) 36, Hardcastle (York) 34, Bradley (Gloucester) 30, Swindells (Hemel) 28, Emanuelli (South Wales) 26.
Tries: Morris (Oxford) 13, Payne (Gateshead) 12, Bloomfield (OLDHAM) 11, Agoro (OLDHAM) 10, Lee (York) 10.
Points: Palfrey (OLDHAM) 76, Hardcastle (York) 76, Swindells (Hemel) 76, Ballard (Hunslet) 68, Bradley (Gloucester) 61.