WIGAN 8, OLDHAM RUFC 19
AFTER back-to-back defeats, Oldham RUFC returned to winning ways in the ADM Premier Division with victory at Wigan which lifted them to fifth place.
It was an encouraging result bearing in mind Oldham, already with a lengthy injury list, found themselves without further players, Dean McEwan, Louis Fitton and Ryan Pickles.
There was some cheer, though, with Stuart Brennan and Josh Watson returning from injury as coach Jimmy Forster, who was a replacement, again had to use players in unfamiliar roles with Phil Whitham starting at scrum half, Jordan McEwan at 10, Alex Kurkiewicz on the right wing and Jay Taylor at full back.
After Oldham dominated the opening 15 minutes without converting possession into points, Wigan went head with a try in the corner.
But Oldham were level shortly before half time through a try from Jack Taylor following a break by Nick Hackman from within his own half.
Hackman timed a pass perfectly to release Taylor on the left wing on the 10-metre line. Taylor attacked the space well and found himself one on one with the full back. A shimmy and a feint left him flat-footed, and he scored by the posts to level the scores, but the conversion was missed as it was 5-5 at the break.
Wigan started the second half well and regained the lead with a penalty, but Oldham started to use the elements and Rob Froggatt produced some huge kicks deep into the Wigan 22.
But penalties at the breakdown continued to plague Oldham and with 20 minutes to go they were still behind.
Oldham then produced the best piece of attacking play of the game. Brennan made a great break down the left with a show and go. He fed Dean McEwan who produced an excellent inside ball to Taylor who ran through the defence to score untouched by the posts. Froggatt’s conversion made the score 12-8 to the visitors.
Oldham were well on top now with Wigan struggling to get out of their own territory and the victory was sealed when Brennan picked up and scored from the back of a five-metre scrum with about 15 minutes to play. McEwan’s conversion made the final score 19-8.
There were a lot of positives for Oldham and the work being put in by coach Forster on Tuesday and Thursday is beginning to pay dividends and energy levels were a lot higher than of late and they had more of the ball which helps. They just need more continuity with player availability.
Oldham have no match this weekend return to action with a home derby against Aldwinians on Saturday, November 6.