Championship One Grand Final Preview: Oldham v Hunslet

A place in next season’s Championship and a possible route in to Super League is up for grabs when Hunslet take on Oldham in the Championship One Grand Final on Sunday.

Oldham will be trying to avoid a sixth Grand Final defeat in eight years, and have already beaten the Hawks during this year’s play-offs.

Following that defeat in the first week, Hunslet bounced back with a 34-22 win over rivals and league leaders York last Sunday.

Hawks coach Barry Eaton said: “We absolutely know that if you go into any given game, you’ve got to do your utmost throughout the week in preparation, then deal with emotional, mental and physical things during the game.

“We go into this in a good frame of mind. We’re in a decent place mentally.”

Oldham missed out on promotion last season when they were beaten by Rochdale, although that may turn out to be a blessing should they win at Headingley, given that the Hornets, along with four other Championship teams, have been relegated to League One for 2015.

Roughyeds coach Scott Naylor said: “Last year has stood us in good stead.

“We seem more relaxed, calm and focused, and as a group we’ve been speaking about the play-offs and the final for the last two months.”

OLDHAM are appearing in a record-extending sixth Final on Sunday – but are still seeking their first win in a decider at this level. They have previously lost to Featherstone (2007), Doncaster (2008), Keighley (2009), York (2010) and Rochdale (2013). HUNSLET HAWKS appear in their first Grand Final at this level.

Oldham’s JASON BOULTS is seeking his fourth Grand Final appearance (and first win) for the Roughyeds on Sunday. Boults was on the losing side for Oldham in the 2009, 2010 and 2013 deciders.

STEVE ROPER played at scrum-half for winning side Rochdale against current club Oldham in last season’s Championship 1 showpiece.

Hunslet’s JAMES COYLE and THOMAS COYLE have both played for Sunday’s opponents Oldham in previous Grand Finals. James was on the losing side in the 2007 and 2008 Finals, with Thomas tasting defeat in 2009.

Hawks trio GAVIN DUFFY (Keighley, 2009), MICHAEL HALEY (Doncaster, 2008) and JAMES HOUSTON (Featherstone, 2007) have all won Grand Finals against Oldham for other clubs.

 

Previous National League Two (2003, 2006-2008*)/The Co-operative Championship 1 (2009-2012)/Kingstone Press Championship 1 (2013) Grand Finals:

2013 (29/9/13) Oldham 18, Rochdale 32

(at Leigh Sports Village)

(North Wales Crusaders were C1 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2012 (30/9/12) Barrow 13, Doncaster 16

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

2011 (2/10/11) Keighley 32, Workington 12

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

(Swinton were C1 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2010 (26/9/10) Oldham 4, York 25

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

(Hunslet were C1 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2009 (4/10/09) Keighley 28, Oldham 26

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

(Dewsbury were C1 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2008 (28/9/08) Doncaster 18, Oldham 10

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

(Gateshead were NL2 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2007 (7/10/07) Featherstone 24, Oldham 6

(at Headingley Carnegie, Leeds)

(Celtic Crusaders were NL2 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2006 (8/10/06) Sheffield 35, Swinton 10

(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)

(Dewsbury were NL2 Champions – GF to decide 2nd promotion place)

2003 (5/10/03) Keighley 13, Sheffield 11

(at Halton Stadium, Widnes)

 

– Qualifying series (won by Halifax) took place in 2004, where teams 2-6 in NL2 and team 9 in NL1 competed to join NL2 Champions (Barrow) in NL1.

 

– Qualifying series (won by Batley) took place in 2005, where teams 2-6 in NL2 and team 8 in NL1 competed to join NL2 Champions (York) in NL1.

 

sponsored by LHF Healthplan (2006) and The Co-operative (2007-2008)

 

Last ten meetings:

Hunslet 24, Oldham 25 (Ch1QPO, 12/9/14)

Oldham 24, Hunslet 23 (Ch1R19, 27/7/14)

Hunslet 38, Oldham 12 (Ch1R6, 18/4/14)

Hunslet 36, Oldham 10 (CCR3, 7/4/13)

Oldham 28, Hunslet 22 (NRCR1, 6/2/11)

Oldham 4, Hunslet 60 (Ch1R12, 23/5/10)

Hunslet 42, Oldham 12 (CCR4, 18/4/10)

Hunslet 16, Oldham 29 (Ch1R2, 12/3/10)

Hunslet 28, Oldham 14 (NRCR3, 14/2/10)

Oldham 54, Hunslet 30 (Ch1ESF, 20/9/09)

 

Previous play-off meetings:

Hunslet 24, Oldham 25 (Ch1QPO, 12/9/14)

Oldham 54, Hunslet 30 (Ch1ESF, 20/9/09)

 

Hunslet Hawks – Grand Final appearances

 

Andy Ballard

2012 Lost (Barrow v Doncaster, 16-13)

(ChGF: 2009 Won (Barrow v Halifax, 26-18)

 

Chris Clough

2011 Lost (Workington v Keighley, 32-12)

 

James Coyle

2008 Lost (Oldham v Doncaster, 18-10)

2007 Lost (Oldham v Featherstone, 24-6)

(ChGF: 2009 Won (Barrow v Halifax, 26-18)

 

Thomas Coyle

2009 Lost (Oldham v Keighley, 28-26)

 

Gavin Duffy

2011 Won (Keighley v Workington, 32-12)

2009 Won (Keighley v Oldham, 28-26)

 

Michael Haley

2008 Won (Doncaster v Oldham, 18-10)

 

James Houston

2007 Won (Featherstone v Oldham, 24-6)

 

Danny Maun

(ChGF: 2013 Lost (Batley v Sheffield, 19-12)

 

Hunslet have used 37 players in this season’s Kingstone Press Championship 1 campaign – with John Oakes being an ever-present in all 23 of the Hawks’ regular season and play-off games.

 

Oldham – Grand Final appearances

 

Mo Agoro

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Dale Bloomfield

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Jason Boults

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

2010 Lost (Oldham v York, 25-4)

2009 Lost (Oldham v Keighley, 28-26)

 

David Cookson

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Josh Crowley

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Adam Files

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Jonathan Ford

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Sam Gee

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Mark Hobson

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Kenny Hughes

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Phil Joy

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Danny Langtree

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Lewis Palfrey

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Steve Roper

2013 Won (Rochdale v Oldham, 32-18)

 

Liam Thompson

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Michael Ward

2013 Lost (Oldham v Rochdale, 32-18)

 

Danny Whitmore

2010 Lost (Oldham v York, 25-4)

 

Oldham have used 28 players in this season’s Kingstone Press Championship 1 campaign – with Josh Crowley and Michael Ward being ever-presents in all 22 of the Roughyeds’ regular season and play-off games.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE TWO/THE CO-OPERATIVE CHAMPIONSHIP 1/KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP 1 GRAND FINAL RECORDS

 

Most Grand Finals

6 Oldham (2007(L), 2008(L), 2009(L), 2010(L), 2013(L), 2014)

 

Most Grand Final wins

3 Keighley (2003, 2009, 2011)

 

Highest score

Sheffield 35 Swinton 10 (2006)

(also widest margin)

 

Most tries by a team

6 Sheffield (v Swinton, 35-10, 2006)

6 Keighley (v Workington, 32-12, 2011)

 

Most points by a losing team

Oldham 26 Keighley 28 (2009)

 

Most tries by a player

2 Rob Worrincy (Sheffield v Swinton, 2006)

2 Wayne McHugh (Featherstone v Oldham, 2007)

2 Luke Menzies (Oldham v Keighley, 2009)

2 Danny Jones (Keighley v Oldham, 2009)

2 Jake Normington (Keighley v Workington, 2011)

 

Most goals by a player

6 Paul Crook (Rochdale v Oldham, 2013)

 

Most points by a player

16 (2 tries, 4 goals) Danny Jones (Keighley v Oldham, 2009)

 

DISMISSALS

Richard Blakeway (Featherstone) is the only player to have been sent off in a Grand Final, having being dismissed for a headbutt in the 64th minute of Rovers’ 2007 win against Oldham.

 

Danny Jones (Keighley) is the only player to have been sin-binned in a Grand Final, having been yellow carded for holding down in the 75th minute of the Cougars’ 2009 win against Oldham.

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