OLDHAM RUFC 14, DIDSBURY TOC H 40
MID-TABLE Oldham RUFC failed to cause an upset as they lost at home to ADM Premier Division leaders Didsbury Toc H.
It was no surprise as Didsbury top the table and enjoy a blemish free league record having won all nine league games.
Oldham started badly conceding too many penalties but good defensive work from Jordan McEwan and Adam Walker kept the away side out.
However, after 13 minutes Oldham gave away a very kickable penalty and another soon after to go 6-0 down.
It was obvious Didsbury were well organised and well drilled, and they were backing up and keeping the ball alive and available for their runners and after 20 minutes went over for their first try.
Didsbury score another easily kickable penalty from in front of the posts. More or less from the restart, Didsbury went over for their second try from a lineout, then right on half time they added a third, both were converted to leave a half-time score of 28-0.
What Oldham coach Jimmy Forster said at the break clearly had an effect. Oldham started the second period with a clear sense of purpose, establishing themselves in the Didsbury half.
The game settled into a bit of an arm wrestle but the finely balanced second half was disturbed when Rob Froggatt was given 10 minutes in the sinbin for diving over the top in the ruck.
Didsbury used the advantage player well, putting the ball through hands to score another converted try.
The Oldham coach made changes with Rhys Jones, Jack Sayle and Phil Conroy replacing John Souter, Dean McEwan and Alex Jobson.
Oldham’s scrum and lineout had been pretty good all afternoon and the replacements in the front row kept up the good work and they eventually got some reward for their efforts.
From a lineout, the forwards set up a rolling maul that drove all the way up to and over the try line with Rhys Jones claiming the try. Jones converted his try to make the score 35-7.
With 10 minutes left Oldham had penalty virtually on the Didsbury five-metre line, opting for the scrum the Oldham pack drove towards the line, the Didsbury defence was constantly infringing, and the referee had no option other than to award a penalty try to double their points tally.
Didsbury scored an unconverted try just before the final whistle to complete the scoring.
The game was not as one sided as the scoreline might suggest. Oldham have work to do but their set pieces are strong and there is a great spirit in the camp.