Crowley snatches last gasp triumph

Date published: Monday, July 28, 2014
JOSH Crowley’s try in the corner with only a couple of minutes left gave Oldham a 24-23 win against Hunslet Hawks at Whitebank in a top-three thriller.

Scott Naylor had demanded a massive response from his troops after their heavy loss at York in the previous game and he got exactly what he wanted from a new-look Roughyds side that had Adam Clay making his home debut on the left wing and new signing Gareth Owen in at hooker for his first-ever game in Oldham colours.
Brett Robinson was also there with a new role to play, coming off the bench as Owen’s replacement.
Roughyeds totally dominated the first half, down the slope, to score three tries to one and to go in at half-time with a 16-6 lead.
Clay scored his first try for the club as early as the fourth minute when quick passing to the left by Steve Roper, Crowley and Jon Ford gave him space to move up the wing.
Hawks replied with a smart try by Danny Grimshaw, but Oldham had no intention of surrendering their unbeaten record at Whitebank and they pushed on with further tries by Steven Nield and Robinson, the first featuring Danny Langtree and Liam Thompson in the build-up and the second following a thrust by Crowley and Roper on the other side of the field.
So far, so good.
Hawks came out for the second half, however, determined to take advantage of the slope. They applied the pressure, forced Roughyeds into errors for the first time in the game and capitalised on a succession of penalties to turn the game on its head.
They had all the ball, constantly forced back-to-back sets and got a firm grip on the game with tries by Lee Brickwood, Jimmy Watson and James Houston, two Andy Ballard conversions and a long-range drop goal by Thomas Coyle.
Oldham trailed 23-16 with only ten minutes left, but they summoned up the strength for an all-out assault and, to the delight of fans, snatched the win they deserved with late tries by Langtree and then by Crowley, the latter after Ford had knocked back a high Lewis Palfrey kick into the hands of the second-row forward.
Oldham scorers — goals, Palfrey (2); tries, Clay, Nield, Robinson, Langtree, Crowley.
Team: Nield; Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Clay; Roper, Palfrey; Joy, Owen, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Rob9nson, Ward, Wood, Tyson.
Hawks: Watson; Duffy, Brickwood, Maun, Ballard; Grimshaw, T Coyle; Houston, March, Haley, Lyons, Oakes, Mackay. Subs: Tebb, Reed, Stenchion, Clough.
Ref: W Turley; Att: 678.