OLDHAM RUFC 12, WIDNES 30
OLDHAM RUFC lost their discipline as they were beaten at home by second-placed Widnes in the ADM Premier Division.
They were only 13-12 behind at half time, a great effort bearing in mind they had been reduced to 14 players for 10 minutes after Rob Froggatt had been sinbinned.
But Widnes took control in the second period after Oldham had Adam Walker and Froggatt sent off after a melee in which Widnes’ Sam Bryan was also dismissed.
It was clear from the start it would be a challenging afternoon for Oldham who had long periods without the ball which is tiring and affects concentration levels.
Widnes took the lead through a penalty after making a break down the middle and Froggatt instinctively stuck out an arm that caught a smaller Widnes player on the borderline of an illegally high tackle. He got 10 minutes in the bin and Widnes kicked a penalty.
Oldham battled well and were only 6-0 behind when Froggatt returned, having conceded one further penalty.
The match turned Oldham’s way after a period when they pounded the Widnes line and Tom Hannon crashed over by the posts with Froggatt kicking the conversion to put them 7-6 ahead.
Unfortunately, Oldham made a pig’s ear of the restart, The Widnes forwards reacted quickly, regathering the ball in space and only seconds later scored by the posts to immediately regain the lead. The conversion made the score 13-7.
Despite this setback, Oldham remained full of confidence and self-belief and scored again shortly before half time. Louis Fitton’s cross-field kick was superbly gathered by Jamie Dalloway on the left wing.
He was tackled tantalisingly short but off-loaded to Ryan North who covered lots of ground to be in support. He was held up by an excellent last-ditch cover tackle, but Fitton was on hand to score in the corner and make the half-time score 13-12.
To reach half time only one point down, and to have scored two tries to one, was quite an achievement by Oldham bearing in mind how Widnes had started the game and they played a quarter of the period with only 14 men.
After the restart, Oldham struggled to get out of their half for a long period and the Widnes pressure eventually told and they increased the lead to 20-12.
With 20 minutes to go, tempers frayed, and a melee ensued which resulted in three players being shown a red card, two from Oldham and one from Widnes.
Oldham faced a difficult final 20 minutes with 13 players against 14 and, despite their very best efforts, they conceded two late unconverted tries. They will probably feel aggrieved at the margin of the defeat, especially as they played a quarter of the game a man down.
After back-to-back defeats to two of the top teams, Oldham are at Wigan, who are below them in the table, on Saturday.
OLDHAM LADIES 42, BURNLEY LADIES 5
OLDHAM Ladies enjoyed a big win at home to depleted Burnley who were given several players by the hosts so they could field a full team.
And Burnley took an early lead at Manor Park through an unconverted try before Oldham responded through a touchdown from Rosie Lawton which was converted by Kate Howard.
Oldham scored again through Leah Montgomery, with Howard again kicking the extra points, as they finished the opening half 14-5 ahead.
As the second half kicked off, Oldham were well into their groove.
Becky Hughes was the first to lead the scoring charge, striding out from the wrong side of the halfway line to run all the way home.
Next up was Howard who sped clear to score under the posts. Then a try from a cracking forwards battle as Faye Lawrence touched down.
Montgomery rounded off the tally with the sixth Oldham try after another fantastic show of skill and speed. All four second half scoring efforts were soundly converted by Howard giving her a perfect record from six kicks.