Twin strike force at the ready

Date published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

OLDHAM’S try-scoring young forwards Josh Crowley and Danny Langtree each has a point to prove in Friday’s derby clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank (3pm).

As second-row buddies and the Roughyeds’ twin strike force out wide they threaten defences on both sides of the field — Crowley to the left, Langtree to the right.
They have been the Roughyeds’ most consistent players during four group games in the Northern Rail Cup and they intend to take their eye-catching form into the Kingstone Press Championship One campaign, starting on Friday.
Each has scored three tries in the Northern Rail competition, and of the club’s 22 contracted players only half-back Jamie Dallimore can match that.
Crowley (21), the former Warrington and Widnes academy player, scored his three all in one go in the 34-16 win at Whitebank against Gateshead Thunder.
Langtree (22), once a promising youngster with home-town St Helens, ¬†went in for a brace against Gateshead and got his third in last Sunday’s 24-12 win at Neath against South Wales Scorpions.
But neither of them has crossed the whitewash in two outings against Hornets (Law Cup and Northern Rail) and that’s a blank ¬†they each want to rectify on the opening day of the league season.
Said Crowley: “Scoring a hat-trick against Thunder was the highlight of my career so far, but I would love to add to it against Rochdale and I know Langers (Langtree) would too.”
Unwittingly, each is pushing the other.
“When Langers is going well, it makes me try even harder,” explained Crowley. “As much as we want each other to do well, there is healthy competition for places, and we are all conscious of that.
“He has been one of our best players so far. I need to keep up with him so I’ve got to carry on scoring tries,”
Crowley is one of 12 new players at Whitebank this season, but Langtree has had two seasons in the reserves and is seen by the club as proof of the benefits to be gained by investing in a second team.
Roughyeds will be seeking their fourth win in a row and their third against Rochdale this season.
Coach Scott Naylor, who has selection options, is unlikely to name a squad in advance of the game. Nor is Rochdale boss Ian Talbot.
Talbot has injury concerns over Mike Ratu (ankle), Jordan Case (knee), Dayne Donoghue (knee) and club captain Wayne English (eye).