Saddleworth Rangers battle to avoid drop

COACH Wes Rogers has vowed to “fight to the death” as Saddleworth Rangers battle to avoid an immediate return to the second division of the National Conference League.

Rangers have given themselves a flicker of hope by winning two of their last three matches – they have doubled their total to four victories.

Staying up remains a tall order as Rangers are still four points from safety with only five games left.

Rogers, whose side has beaten Oulton Raiders and Dewsbury Moor Maroons, said: “We will fight to the death but, if we go down, it won’t be the end of the world. What is meant to be, will be.

“Even if we go down, this year will have still been a success and a big year for progression within the club.

“I am looking at the bigger picture and there have been positives with young players coming through to the open-age teams.”

Rogers mentioned Jay Taylor, who is still eligible for the Under-18s, Sam Eyres, Ben Foster and Joe Mullen.

While the young players are the future of the club, Rogers has also praised the older heads who are guiding them.

Ian Sinfield, who is part of Rogers’ coaching team, has come out of retirement.

Rogers said: “Ian is aged 42 but has been outstanding. He is a leader.

“The same goes for Michael Coates while Chris Hough and Gavin Dodd have also been excellent for us.”

Rangers go to promotion-chasing York on Saturday (Aug 3) but have already beaten them at home.

They still have to play Stanningley, Wigan St Pats and Normanton at home and also visit Dewsbury Moor Maroons.

Rogers said: “It is up to us to win as many games as possible and hope results involving the teams in and around us go our way.

“We still have some big games to play and we certainly haven’t given up.”

• Rogers added it was a proud moment watching his son Fenton play for England schoolboys against France.

He added the game came 25 years to the month since he also played for England schoolboys against France.

That England side was captained by Paul Sculthorpe who, amazingly, presented Fenton with his England shirt before the game.

“Paul is a lifelong friend and for him to present Fenton with his England shirt was a proud moment,” he said.

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