A “real big win” – Scott

Date published: Monday, June 23, 2014
SCOTT Naylor was deep in thought for a few moments before starting his post-match summary.

“This is a big one — a REAL big one,” he said, of Oldham’s 32-14 win on Tyneside in which Roughyeds took 20 minutes or so to settle, and then came from 14-6 down to rack up 26 points without reply.
Like York the week before, Naylor’s men totally dominated the second half to inflict serious damage on Gateshead’s avowed intent, on the back of new owners, new money and new targets, to qualify for the play-offs and then complete the fairytale with promotion to the Championship.
Crucially, Josh Crowley scored just before half-time to cut Thunder’s interval lead to 14-12 and then, early in the second half, Mo Agoro — who else ? — struck twice in five minutes to post notice that Roughyeds had the sniff of victory in their nostrils.
Said Naylor: “I’m delighted with this performance because in the past few weeks Gateshead have recruited quality players.
“They came into this game with four wins from their last six outings, having been beaten in that period by only the top two teams in the division, Hunslet and York.
“Stanley Gene (Thunder’s coach) is doing a great job. A lot of teams are going to come up here and go home beaten.
“We had to play superbly well to win, in a highly competitive game which proved once again that in this division this year you’ve got to be on your game every time you go out to play. There are no easy games. Every team in the division poses a threat.
“A few things went against us early on — of our own doing, I have to say —- but we kept our heads, we didn’t panic and we maintained our standards right through to the end of the game.
“They scored all their points in the first 20 minutes and to keep them scoreless for the next hour was a reflection on how hard we worked to claw away at their lead and then to go on and build a substantial lead of our own.
“I’m purposely not going to mention any individuals because everybody contributed much to the overall team performance, and that pleases me as much as anything else if not more so.
“The turning point came at 14-6 to Gateshead when we scored shortly before half-time. Had they gone 20-6 up we would have had a mountain to climb, but we kept on plugging away and after going close on a few occasions we finally got our reward.
“To say how pleased I am with what the boys achieved doesn’t begin to explain how I really feel. We played a very good side today, and one that is going to get better.”
Thunder coach Stanley Gene said: “I thought we were well on top in the first part of the game, but after that we moved away from what we had been doing best.
“Three Oldham tries in ten minutes early in the second half hit us hard. They were ‘soft’ tries because we should have defended them much better — two from kicks and the other when we missed a vital tackle on Agoro after a quick shift of the ball to our left flank.
“Oldham come up here again at the end of August. We’ll be ready for them.”