Oldham won’t underestimate Haydock

John Davidson

Oldham will be on guard and ready when they face Haydock amateurs at Bower Fold in the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

The only community club still left in the competition, Haydock have made cup history by becoming the first team from the eighth tier of rugby league to reach this stage – one round before Super League’s big guns come in to take centre stage.

All fourth-round ties will be played over the weekend of March 18 and 19.

Current champions of the North-West Men’s League, Haydock have earned their giant-killing spurs by going to Cumbria in round one and smashing National Conference premier division side Wath Brow Hornets before knocking out BARLA National Cup holders Thornhill Trojans (Dewsbury) at home in round two.

In round three the amateur outfit from St Helens caused another upset by travelling south and demolishing Wests Warriors, the pride of London and Happy Jepson Trophy winners, at the home of London Skolars.

“What they’ve done so far is fantastic,” Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton said.

“Congratulations are in order. Of course, it means we have to be on our guard.

“They’ll be coming with nothing to lose and all to gain but, hopefully, our professionalism will see us into the hat for the fifth round.”

Oldham have never been beaten by amateur opposition, but in Scott Naylor’s four-season tenure as head coach they’ve had some tough battles in Cumbria.

Naylor said: “We know from past experience of playing against amateur sides that we have to dig-in and do the business.

“It’s their Wembley, their day in the sun.

“From our point of view, it’s all about attitude and preparation. We will be preparing as we would for a game against Warrington or Wigan.”