Two extra fixtures

Date published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CLUBS in Co-operative Championship One play two extra fixtures in the 2011 season to compensate for the loss of ill-fated Blackpool Panthers.

South Wales and Workington Town provide Oldham Roughyeds with their ‘extra’ games, the Welshmen coming to Whitebank twice (Sunday, June 12 and Sunday, August 21) and Tony Benson’s men travelling twice to Derwent Park (Sunday, March 20 and Sunday, September 4).

This provides 20 league games, as last year, with promoted Hunslet Hawks and York City Knights replaced by relegated Keighley Cougars and Whitehaven.

The Roughyeds’ first four league games are against Gateshead Thunder (home) on Sunday, March 13, followed on successive Sundays by Workington (away), Swinton Lions (home) and Keighley (away).

For the first time in many years Roughyeds are at home to derby rivals Rochdale Hornets on Good Friday, April 22, followed on Easter Monday by a trip through the Lake District in Spring to play Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.

Swinton Lions will entertain Roughyeds on a Friday night (May 27, 8pm kick off) and there will be another major break with tradition when Oldham travel to London in July to play the Skolars.

This year the game will not be played in North London at the Skolars’ home base in White Hart Lane, but will take place instead as a curtain-raiser to the Super League game between Harlequins and Wigan Warriors at The Stoop in West London on Saturday, July 9 with a 5pm kick-off, although the kick-off time may be subject to alteration.

As usual, the season opens up with the Northern Rail Cup in which Oldham’s round-robin fixtures are against Championship clubs Hunslet and Halifax and Championship One clubs Swinton and Whitehaven.

Hunslet kick off the season proper when they come to Whitebank on Sunday, February 6, followed by our trip to The Shay to take on Matt Calland’s Halifax on the following Sunday, February 13.

Next up come Swinton away on February 20 and Whitehaven at home on February 27 as Benson’s boys are giving a tough Northern Rail Cup examination ahead of their big kick-off in Co-operative Championship One on March 13.

“We’ve got four tough encounters in the Northern Rail Cup, but they will prepare us well and get us ready for what is going to be a really tough and demanding league campaign,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton.

“We are particularly pleased to get Rochdale at Whitehank on Good Friday because its a throwback to what was once always a traditional Good Friday derby clash, but one that we have not been able to stage in recent years while we have been playing home games at Boundary Park.”

Fans are reminded that to get the best deals on season tickets they need to be purchased before Christmas from the Roughyeds office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677), which is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.