Team updates

Date published: Friday, May 28, 2010

NEIL Roden, Oldham RL Club’s influential pivot, will miss his fourth game in a row when Roughyeds go to Workington Town on Sunday.

It was hoped at one stage that the club’s long-serving 30-year-old outside-half would have recovered from a broken toe in time to begin his comeback at Derwent Park.

“He ran with us on Tuesday night for the first time in a month,” said coach Tony Benson, “but he needs a bit more time. He’s nearly there — but not quite.”

Matty Ashe and loan signing Gregg McNally look certain to be pulling the strings at half-back again, and McNally will be looking for a big game in his native West Cumbria.

As a Whitehaven boy, and a former ‘Haven player, he will want to make an impact against his home town club’s fierce derby rivals.

Gregg McNally

The 19-year-old Huddersfield Giants half-back had a tough debut in Roughyeds’ 60-4 mauling by Hunslet and like everybody else in the Oldham squad he will be determined to make amends at Derwent Park (3.00pm kick-off).

“We’ve got to put Hunslet behind us and prepare for another real battle up there,” said Benson. “Town have a big pack and their pitch is narrow. They will be ready to go, but so will we.”

Roughyeds will field a similar side to last week’s, Benson having named a 19-man squad comprising the 17 who played against Hunslet plus Scott Mansfield and Luke Sutton.

Marcus St Hilaire and Valu Bentley are still out injured although Bentley may begin his comeback in the reserves next week.

Mark Brocklehurst is away on work commitments and Kashley Watkins and Dean Hatton will play in the reserves against York City Knights at Whitebank tomorrow (Saturday, 3.00pm kick off).

Craig Robinson has been suffering this week from a pulled groin and he will have a fitness test tomorrow.

Centre Mick Fogerty, who has had a stomach complaint, was told to rest at home this week — to reduce the risk of infection spreading through the squad — but he is fine now and will play.

His winger John Gillam will also be in action despite taking a blow to the shoulder against Hunslet and withdrawing at half-time.

“We took him off as a precaution,” said Benson, “but he is okay now and he is ready to play.”

Oldham (from): Ashe, Boults, Chandler, Clarke, Ellison, Fogerty, Gillam, Heaton, Hodson, Kerr, Mansfield, McNally, O’Connor, Onyango, Reilly, Robinson, M Roden, Sutton, Whitmore.

Roughyeds will be anxious to recapture the form that swept them to victory in their first seven league games, which included a narrow 16-14 home win over the Cumbrians at Sedgley Park on Easter Monday.

Mid-table Workington have won five of their ten games and have picked up bonus points in three defeats on the road at South Wales Scorpions, Rochdale and Oldham.

Only two teams have won at Derwent Park — high-flying Hunslet Hawks and unbeaten Blackpool Panthers — and the Cumbrians will be seeking their fourth win in a row after turning over London Skolars away, Doncaster at home and Gateshead away in their last three outings.

“We are looking at the Oldham game as our most important of the season so far,” said chairman Dave Bowden, “because a win against a team in the top three would be a marker for the rest of the campaign, and would give us a real push in the right direction.”

Town are likely to play a similar side to that which won 42-24 at Gateshead last time out because Lee Dutton is still suspended and centre James Finch continues to be unavailable due to work commitments.

Roughyeds reserves play York City Knights at Whitebank tomorrow (3.00pm), bidding to complete a league double after winning 26-18 at York a month ago.

A newcomer, who will be in the starting line-up,is 17-year-old winger Danny Chetwynd from Rochdale Rugby Union club.

The 20-man squad comprises of Coates, Hamilton,J Knight, Williams, Chetwynd, Fullalove, Diveney, Mellor, Hatton, Kinney, Watkins, Ward, Smith, Barrowclough, Cadd, D Knight, Kellet, Lowe,Joy, Marsden.