Oldham RLFC boss apologises to fans after losing to amateur club in Cup

Drew Darbyshire
Challenge Cup trophy

Oldham RLFC chairman Chris Hamilton has apologised to the club’s fans after they were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by community club Lock Lane.

The League 1 club suffered their first-ever defeat to amateur opposition last night. They were defeated 22-12 at home against Castleford-based club Lock Lane.

Hamilton said: “Firstly, I want to congratulate Lock Lane on what was a deserved victory – no question about that. We wish them well in the next round.

“However, on behalf of the club I want to say sorry to our fans and sponsors for what was an embarrassing night for us.

“It was a bitterly disappointing night for the club, and for me personally, both on and off the pitch.

“On it, we failed to show the desire that is a pre-requisite in any game and we ultimately paid the price. For the wrong reasons, we created a little bit of club history.

“Off the field, the problems with the floodlights, for the second game in a row, was the last thing we needed, especially in front of a live audience, both at the ground and via Our League.

“I have already apologised, last night, to Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League on the club’s behalf.”

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Oldham boss aiming to rectify floodlight problems

Oldham suffered problems with floodlight failure for the second game in a row at the Vestacare Stadium. Hamilton insists the club are working hard to rectify those issues.

He added: “After the Wakefield game, when we experienced similar problems, we took action based on what Avro had told us had caused the issue, but given that it happened again last night there’s clearly another problem. We will obviously follow this up again, given the recurring problem last night.

“What this does highlight, once again, is the massive issue that not having a ground of our own causes. For 25 years now we have battled against this problem and continue to do so. It is incredibly hard to move forward when, ultimately, we are not in control of our own destiny. Fans can rest assured that this is something we continue to work on to try and rectify and that will not change.

“A lot of hard work has gone into pre-season, with what is primarily a brand-new squad; and sadly, a lot of the optimism generated will have been dented last night. That is something the players have to take responsibility for because it is they who take the field.

“As chairman I will continue to work as hard as ever. In Stu Littler we have a coach who cares very much about what happens; and, like us all, is hurting right now.

“We are not naive enough to think this one game will define our season. In some ways it will be used as additional motivation by us, collectively, to ensure that, come the start of the league season in March, we are as well prepared as we can be.

“Once again sorry, but please keep up your great support.”

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