Away the lads!
Date published: 19 August 2013
THE best away record in Championship One has guaranteed Oldham a top-two finish.
Four points behind, but with two games still to play, North Wales Crusaders remain on course to finish top and win automatic promotion.
But no other club can finish within six points of the Roughyeds, whose 30-25 win at Rochdale Hornets in the last of their 16 league games gave Scott Naylor’s young guns a remarkable 22 away points out of a possible 24.
It was a long and winding road, too, with trips to Gateshead, Wrexham, Neath, Oxford, Cheltenham, Hemel Hempsted and London.
Club budgets didn't stretch to overnight stops, but the players quickly got used to early starts, leg-stretching sessions on motorway service stations and conditioner Mike Hughes's healthy-eating packs en route.
On their travels they beat Gloucester 36-0, Hemel Stags 30-12, South Wales Scorpions 36-32, Gateshead Thunder 44-12, Oxford 22-4, London Skolars 44-24 and Rochdale 30-25.
Their only away defeat was 22-20 against North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham on June 9, where they were denied two points for a draw because Lewis Palfrey narrowly missed a conversion attempt with the last kick of the game.
Crusaders, whose crucial game at London Skolars is on Friday night, have already lost two games away — at Hemel and at Whitebank.
If Crusaders lose by more than 12 points to London Skolars on Friday, Scott Naylor’s boys would win the championship crown and promotion.
London need the points to pip Rochdale to third place and get a better chance in the play-offs.
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