Waterhead Warriors fight on while Saddleworth Rangers flounder with mixed results

WATERHEAD WARRIORS are living up to their name and enjoying a massive upturn in fortunes in division three of the National Conference League.

Four wins in their last five games has hoisted the Peach Road club well clear of the foot of the table.

And it is a far cry to their wretched start to the season when they suffered seven straight losses and won only once in their first 10 games.

And club chairman Mick Slicker snr has praised the players, first-team coach Dave Orwell and everybody at the club for helping turn round their season.

He said: “Dave has stuck at it and done a great job. The players have dug in and worked hard together and are getting their rewards.

“Of course winning lifts confidence, but this is the amateur game and you can only look one week at a time and we remain work in progress.

waterhead CAMP
Kevin Sinfield with young players at the Waterhead camp

“We had a lot of problems early in the season with players injured and unavailable, but now we are seeing other teams having similar problems when we play them.”

Mr Slicker added that following back-to-back relegations and the club’s alarming slide, success this season was simply putting out a team on the pitch each week.

The good run has been achieved without key players like front row Martin Sarsfield and loose forward Jamie Mayall who have been ruled out through injury.

But Mr Slicker says the likes of Luke De Feu, Danny Hurley, Andy Gorey, Terry Fitzgerald and Ciaran Dean have all been playing well while under-18 players Johnny Aspin, Reece Bradshaw and Alex Jobson have also stepped up and done a job for the team.

Former player and RL legend Kevin Sinfield returned to the club last week as Leeds Rhino’s held a two-day camp.

Over 70 youngsters attended and Kevin did a spot of coaching, presented the prizes and signed autographs.

MEANWHILE, Saddleworth Rangers’s recent change of fortune seems to have come to an abrupt end as July brought a mixed bag of results.

The Shaw Hall Bank side started the month with back-to-back wins against promotion-hopefuls Ince Rose Bridge and fellow strugglers Salford City Roosters to climb off the bottom of division one.

But they then suffered a disappointing 40-12 defeat at relegation-threatened Wigan St Judes as they struggled to recover from a calamitous opening half which put their opponents 26-0 up at half-time.

Saddleworth Rangers LogoAnother loss followed a week later as Rangers went down 16-8 against second-placed Kells but coach Craig Farrimond insisted positives can be taken from their recent form.

And he believes more victories are on the cards as players return from injuries and summer holidays to bring his squad to full strength for the first time all season.

He said: “Players like Ben Wood and Matt Bottom have returned, so it meant we have much more experience on the pitch.

“When we have 17 or 18 first-team players available we are able to implicate what we’ve been doing in training.”

Rangers’s next games see them travel to Shaw Cross Sharks on 15 August, followed by a visit Pilkington Recs on August 22 before a home game against Hunslet Warriors on 5 September.


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