Old scores to settle
Date published: 16 May 2014
JASON Boults and Danny Whitmore have more reasons than most for wanting to see York well beaten at Whitebank on Sunday.
Rewind four years and the three strongest teams in what was then Co-operative Championship One were Hunslet, Oldham and York.
Hunslet finished top with 55 points and were promoted; Oldham were second with 52 points; York ended up third on 39 points. The City Knights went on to beat Tony Benson’s Roughyeds 25-4 in the play-off final at Warrington and thus inflict Oldham’s fourth final defeat in a row.
But that was only part of the story of Oldham and York in 2010: they clashed four times, every one of them a cracker.
Only Boults and Whitmore were at the club back then and they will have old scores to settle on Sunday.
Now, as then, the same three teams seem to be the ones most likely to be scrapping for end-of-season honours.
“York are a quality team with quality players,” summed up Oldham boss Scott Naylor. “They’ve kept most of their squad from last year and we’ll need to play as well as we did against Oxford a fortnight ago, if not better.”
Oxford won at York early in the season, but that will count for nothing as the Minster men prepare to play Oldham this weekend and league leaders Hunslet at home seven days later.
They couldn't have picked a worse time to run into injury problems — so much so that they are
scurrying around at the last minute trying to pick up at least one experienced prop on loan in time for him to play at Whitebank.
“Oldham are a big side and on the very day we need big men we might end up with a depleted front row,” said Thornton. “We are looking around to see if anyone is available.”