Thumbs-up for injured tro

Date published: Friday, February 7, 2014
FORWARDS Liam Thompson, Michael Ward and Danny Whitmore have given Oldham RL a triple tonic ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Swinton Lions at Whitebank (3pm).
It might only be a warm-up game, but rival coaches Scott Naylor and Ian Watson have stressed the importance of a pre-season run-out which is the second of three for Oldham, but the first and last for Swinton.
Said Naylor: “We’ve got a new half-back (Brett Robinson), two new props (Alex Davidson and Paddy Mooney) and two new full-backs (Tom Whitehead and Steven Nield). We’ve got things to work on and these are the games which we use to get ourselves sorted out.
“I was really pleased with how we went at Barrow and I’ll be looking for an even better show this week. Performance is more important than the result in games like this one — it’s important we get better week on week.
“It will be another tough one against a team from a higher division — just like last week — but it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Thompson, Ward and Whitmore were all carried off with ankle injuries near the end of last Sunday’s 16-6 defeat at Barrow.
Said Naylor: “Providing they suffer no reaction to last night’s training session they should all be right.
“Ward, in particular, has made a miraculous recovery from the state he was in last Sunday.
“We have a few niggles, including Ben Wood with a dead leg, but there’s every reason to believe that everyone who played last Sunday will be available again this weekend.”
Josh Crowley will be back in contention for a place in the second-row, having missed the Barrow game because of a long-standing family commitment.
Club captain Lewis Palfrey and prop Phil Joy are still nursing knocks, however, so they will miss out for the second weekend in a row.
OLDHAM (from): Whitehead, Bloomfield, Cookson, Gee, Agoro, Hughes, Robinson, Boults, Whitmore, Ward, Wood, Langtree, Crowley, Thompson, Hobson, Mooney, Davidson, Nield, Files, Hall.
Championship side Swinton have assembled a 19-man squad under new player-coach Ian Watson despite massive financial worries and major changes at boardroom level since the end of last season.
Four former Oldham players are expected to turn out —- Watson, Mick Nanyn and new signings Luke Menzies and Danny Halliwell.
Half-back Anthony Bowman, who played twice for Roughyeds last season while on loan from Halifax, has also joined the Lions.
Club captain Ritchie Hawkyard has warned his team mates they will have to play well at Whitebank to stake a first-team place in the Championship opener at Halifax as this will be their only warm-up match.
He added: “We’ve got one chance and one only — that’s why the Oldham game will be so important to us.”
SWINTON (from): Ackers, Bowman, Barlow, James Brown, Johnny Brown, Cooper, Cunniffe, Halliwell, D Hawkyard, R Hawkyard, Johnson, Menzies, Morrison, Nanyn, Peet, Walker, Watkins, Watson, Worthington.
Admission prices are £10 (adults), £8 (concessions), £3 (under-16s), with a £2 transfer to seats.