Lions tie should be a cracker - Owen

Date published: 23 March 2021

Swinton's 28-16 win against Newcastle Thunder means Roughyeds clash with the Lions at Heywood Road, Sale in the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup this coming weekend.

They then meet them again at Bower Fold a few days later, on Good Friday, April 2, in the opening game of the 2021 Betfred Championship season.

That's two derby days in less than a week against Swinton, and both streamed on Our League, a mouth-watering prospect for supporters of both clubs.

The league game at Bower Fold on Good Friday kicks-off at 5.15pm to fit in with streaming schedules, but exact details for the Swinton cup-tie have still to be finalised.

First round: Sheffield Eagles 6, York City Knights 30; OLDHAM 20, Barrow Raiders 6; London Broncos 24, Keighley Cougars 10; Whitehaven 23, Dewsbury Rams 16; Halifax Panthers 6, Batley Bulldogs 19; West Wales Raiders 4, Widnes Vikings 58; Featherstone 41, Bradford Bulls 16; Swinton Lions 28, Newcastle Thunder 16.

The second-round line-up is: Swinton Lions v OLDHAM; Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs; London Broncos v York City Knights; Widnes Vikings v Whitehaven.

Super League clubs enter the competition in round three, but the real significance of a third-round appearance for Championship clubs is that they are automatically in the semi-final of the 1895 Cup and thus only 80 minutes from Wembley.

"Both Swinton and ourselves are only two games from Wembley so that's a massive incentive," said Oldham captain Gareth Owen.

"The winners at Heywood Road next week only need a bit of luck in the semi-final draw and what might happen then is mind-boggling." .

He added: "It's going to be a really tough tie and it should be a cracker.

"I'm really looking forward to it and I know the other lads will be too.

"Both teams will look at the other and think 'this is the sort of side we want to be beating in the Championship' so to have two meetings within a few days so early in the season is very interesting."

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