STILL unbeaten at home in cup and league this season, Oldham RL Club are aiming to keep up the good work at Bower Fold and turn the Stalybridge Celtic football ground into a fortress, says Roughyeds captain Gareth Owen.

So far at The Fold, they’ve beaten Barrow Raiders in the Betfred Challenge Cup and derby rivals Swinton Lions in the Betfred Championship.

Away from home, they’ve lost at Swinton in the cup and at Batley Bulldogs and London Broncos in the league, but they look a different side on home soil and that theory will be put to the test today when Halifax Panthers visit Tameside, with a 12.45pm kick-off for live streaming on Our League.

Owen said he and the players were embarrassed after the loss at Batley when coach Matt Diskin questioned their attitude.

He felt that, even in defeat, there was a big improvement in London and it was the squad’s intention to build on that against Halifax.

“We’ve two consecutive home games now against Halifax and Whitehaven and an opportunity to give Bower Fold a reputation for being a tough place to come for any opposition,” added the Roughyeds captain.

Oldham, who have been hit by an injury pile-up in recent weeks, hope to be strengthened in the forwards by the return of Martyn Reilly and Liam Kirk and in the backs by Ryan Ince and the on-loan signing of highly-rated Wakefield Trinity youngster Jack Croft.

Aged only 20, Croft has already played in eight Super League games and on three occasions has been trusted with the responsibility for playing centre to England international winger Tom Johnstone.

Purely because of his youth, he’s not yet regarded as a Super League regular, hence his loan move to Oldham for game time, but Roughyeds insiders who recall his short spell here in early 2020 say he has matured physically beyond recognition.

He’s now said to be a big unit with the skill and speed to make a big impression in the Championship.

Another youngster looking for Championship experience with Oldham is 19-year-old prop Jack Bibby from Wigan Warriors, who scored on his debut in London and is again included in today’s squad.

He made a big impression down in the capital and with Reilly and Kirk back on duty it will be interesting to see whether he keeps his place on the bench. Diskin will certainly be looking towards senior second-row man Danny Langtree to provide strike power and to add to the 92 tries he has already scored in Oldham colours.

The 30-year-old is still looking good and finding his way to the line, as shown by his three tries already in five appearances this season.

Halifax will be without star full-back Scott Grix due to a hamstring injury.