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Key men back for Oldham in battle of contenders

Date published: 17 April 2014

THE eagerly-awaited thumbs-up on players like Adam Files and David Cookson will hopefully be timed to perfection for Oldham RL.

Tomorrow’s Good Friday showdown at the South Leeds Stadium (2pm kick-off) pits the Roughyeds against Hunslet Hawks, a top of the table clash between two of the three strongest teams in the division.

The team to win promotion via the play-offs will almost certainly come from the trio of Oldham, Hunslet and York. Of these three, only Scott Naylor’s men remain unbeaten - but are in second place behind the high-scoring Hawks, with a game in hand.

The early leaders are averaging 40 points a game and boast the division’s top try scorer in prop James Houston and two of the leading goals and points scorers in scrum-half Danny Ansell and former Oldham winger Andy Ballard.

They’ve been beaten only once — 28-26 at home to York on March 9 — and are on a roll and going in search of their sixth win in a row. Houston’s fellow prop Luke Stenchion, another who used to play for Oldham, will be especially keen to make an impact in his 150th career appearance.

A large squad of 29 includes four former Roughyeds in Ballard, Stenchion and the half-back brothers James and Thomas Coyle.

 

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