Roughyeds go west to sign second siddal ace
Monday 19th February 2018 @ 10:57 by Mark Phillip

Oldham followed up centre Zack McComb ‘s signing by getting his ex-Siddal wing partner Ben West to put pen to paper too.

West (21), who has been training with Roughyeds since November, played as a trialist in pre-season games against Barrow Raiders and Keighley Cougars.

He has played all his rugby at the crack, Halifax-based community club — most of it on the left wing outside McComb, a former Huddersfied Giants youngster.

Oldham boss Scott Naylor has high hopes for the former Siddal double-act.

West was disappointed to lose his place in the Siddal side when they beat Leigh Miners in the 2016 National Conference premier division grand final.

“That made me determined to have a better year in 2017,” said West, who picked up several club awards as Siddal finished top of the premier division, but lost to Thatto Heath in the grand final.

Like his centre partner, he pinpointed the Challenge Cup tie against Toronto Wolfpack as one of the highlights of the year.

After signing a one-year deal at Oldham, he said: “I’ve been there since November and I’ve enjoyed every minute. The other boys were great with us from the start. It’s a very professional set-up at Oldham.

“I’m buzzing and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a step-up for me, but I’m loving the challenge. I hope to get a few games and go from there.”

Naylor said: “Zack can bring a lot to us. He’s quick, good off both feet, and he has good skills and a great attitude. He’s hungry for it too.

“Of all our trialists, Ben was the surprise package. He’s gone better and better while he’s been with us. He’s a quiet lad, but he plays and trains hard and he’s done everything we’ve asked of him.

“Against Keighley he was one of the best players on the field, deceptively strong and with a brilliant work ethic.”

Naylor also spoke highly about two trialists who won’t be offered terms — winger Chris Barlow, who scored a try in the Law Cup win at Rochdale and local lad Harry Maders.

“They’re disappointed, but they need to be somewhere where they are playing week in and week out and hopefully that will be in this division.”

In other news, Oldham’s third-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup-tie against Featherstone Lions at the Vestacare Stadium will be on Sunday, February 25 with a 3pm kick-off.

Admission prices are £11 adults, £9 concessions and £2 under-16s, with a £2 across-the-board transfer to seats in the stand.

Apart from a pre-season warm-up game against Keighley Cougars, it will be Oldham’s first game on the new high-quality artificial pitch at the Vestacare Stadium.
By Roger Halstead