Roughyeds ready to bury final hoodoo

Oldham coach Tony Benson is gearing his side up for a tough physical battle against York City Knights in Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One Play-off Final at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.

The Roughyeds have had an extra week to prepare for their fourth consecutive appearance in the Co-operative Championships’ showpiece triple header and Benson believes that the few days break will benefit his players.

“We’ve had three hard, bruising matches against York this season and they are a big side with the flexibility to respond to certain game situations,” said Benson. “They are well led around the park by Chris Thorman and clearly we need to be aware of his threat.

“I believe we’ve a game that can do a job on them but every match between the sides this season has been close. After beating them in the play-offs it was important to have an extra week to recharge our batteries both mentally and physically.

“I believe we’ve used the time off well to prepare for this challenge and can take a good game to Warrington.”

Three successive finals defeats against Keighley, Doncaster and Featherstone suggest Oldham are the nearly men of Championship One but Benson is unconcerned by that tag.

“I was buoyed by our achievements last year. We lost a number of our players before the play-offs started but still managed to get to the final despite finishing fifth,” he said.

“There are only five or six of the lads who played in the narrow defeat to Keighley. There is a real buzz about Oldham this time around and our loyal supporters firmly believe that this is the year especially given our strong league form.

“That said we will not be complacent or over confident. We have a very tough test on our hands but I believe we are far better prepared and better placed this time to achieve our objective of promotion.” 

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