Tuesday, 24 September 2013
The Final Countdown No.2
Crooky Drives Oldham (Ginger) Nuts
Featherstone, Doncaster, Keighley, York. On Sunday Hornets aim to join a decidedly Yorkshire-looking band of clubs to have beaten Oldham in Grand Finals.
Having tasted defeat on four consecutive years, Oldham have taken a bit of a sabbatical from the final of late, but are determined to go one better in what will be this season's most febrile A627M El Classico.
In the Oldham Evening Chronic yesterday, Chris Hamilton was bullish: “The players are chomping at the bit to get back at Rochdale in the final. We want to do a job on them, make no mistake.”
But we sense that they have one General concern.
We think it's interesting that - whilst the Oldham Evening Chronic reports our recent one-point win at Whitebank as a 'blip' in what they see as Oldham's divine right to promotion - all they've done is fixate on Paul Crook.
In their immediate assessment of the Qualifying Semi-Final the Oldham paper said: "Paul Crook’s master-class in kicking a rugby ball in wind and rain inflicted a painful blow to Oldham’s promotion prospects at a cold and drenched Whitebank. Crook’s uncanny ability to plant the ball exactly where he wanted it, despite atrocious conditions, gave his side the vital edge in a 23-22 play-off triumph"
And again, in their report of Oldham's thrashing of the Skolars on Sunday they say: "A week ago (Lewis) Palfrey, on his own public admission, was given a lesson by his opposite number in the Rochdale side, Paul Crook…"
Palfrey himself admits: “I hold my hand up. Paul Crook gave me a lesson in how to handle play-off rugby…"
Looking forward to Sunday's tutorial already.
For stats fans, those Oldham Grand Final losses were:
2007 - lost 24-6 to Featherstone at Headingley.
2008 - lost 18-10 to Doncaster at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington.
2009 - lost 28-26 to Keighley at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington.
2010 - lost 25-4 to York City Knights at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington.