Crusaders next in battle for top-six spots

Oldham face another titanic test when form team North Wales Crusaders come to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off).

Kenny Hughes is out because of a two-match ban for dangerous contact against Keighley, but the Crusaders still field three former Roughyeds in winger Dave Eccleston, big centre Matt Reid and half-back Steve Roper.

They come seeking their fourth win on the spin, having won 24-22 at Whitehaven, 14-6 at home against Keighley Cougars and, last Sunday, 30-18 at home to Workington Town.

Moreover, they come to Oldham with a realistic chance of making the play-offs after coming from nowhere in the last few weeks.

They are now only three points outside the top six with 12 points and a game in hand on Workington (also 12 points) and London Skolars (15).

Up at the top, Oldham could go second because Newcastle have a free weekend. They might also cut Whitehaven's lead to one point again, given that the Cumbrians go to another form team, Doncaster.

Early in the season Scott Naylor's men got out of jail when winning 16-14 at Wrexham thanks to a last-gasp interception try by Lee Kershaw after they had looked well beaten.

So it's going to be a big day at the Vestacare on Sunday both on the pitch and off it where local children will fill the following match-day roles as part of the RFL's Junior Take-Over Day:

Chairman, Orlaith MacCafferty; public address announcer, Jessica Davies; club photographers, Evie Wood and Bailey Howell; team kit manager, Stanley Simpson and Harvey Hall; ground-safety officers, Amelie Betts and Theo Black; programme seller, Jasmine Tierney.

Also at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday will be a team from State of Mind Sports (SOMS) which was established in 2011 after the death of Wigan and Great Britain star Terry Newton, who tragically took his own life.

The State of Mind organisation, with Oldham-born Danny Sculthorpe heavily involved, has been doing a tour of Super League clubs and will bring this initiative to a close at the Vestacare , which is rightly considered to be  coup for the Oldham club.

The club has also accepted an invitation to have a stall at an NHS bbq at the Royal Oldham Hospital tomorrow (Thursday), which runs from 11am to 2pm.

By Roger Halstead

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