Crusaders edge it in thrilling semi-final

Date published: Thursday, April 9, 2015
DESPITE a brave effort, Oldham fell just short when beaten 18-16 by North Wales Crusaders in last night’s iPro Sport Cup semi-final at Whitebank.

It was the Roughyeds’ first home defeat in 18 months and one which coach Scott Naylor believed hinged on referee Dave Merrick’s decision to put George Tyson in the sin bin just after half time.
“That made all the difference and I believe it was a wrong decision,” said the Roughyeds boss. “I feel for my lads because they gave everything they had to give, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Tyson was shown the yellow card for making contact with former Oldham player Jamie Dallimore after he had put in a kick.
While he was off the field, Crusaders took the lead for the first time with a try by Ryan Duffy, converted by Tommy Johnson.
Dallimore chased his own kick to extend the visitors’ lead midway through the second half, but in a thrilling finish Oldham cut the arrears to two points with a Danny Langtree try which Palfrey improved.
There were three minutes remaining, but Oldham couldn’t unlock the Crusaders’ defence again.
Among the sport’s well-known names at this second semi-final —- Crusaders now play Swinton Lions in the final at Blackpool in May — were the RFL’s chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer; leading RL journalist Dave Hadfield and Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley.
Rimmer said: “It was an outstanding game of rugby league ¬†between two completely committed teams.
“It was great. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be on a ¬†Wednesday night in April.”
Naylor added: “Congratulations to Crusaders. It’s no mean feat to come here and beat us on our own pitch. It’s indicative of the sort of club they are.
“That said, it was harsh to put Tyson in the bin. Nevertheless, you have to get on with it and we didn’t manage it properly when we were down to 12 men.
“It’s a learning curve for us.We’ve still got a lot to learn.
“Our middle unit was outstanding.
“I’d like to thank the fans for coming out to support us on a Wednesday night. Unfortunately, we couldn’t deliver for them, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying .
“We’ll dwell on it for a couple of days and then move on.”
Roughyeds are at home again on Sunday (3pm) against Coventry Bears — Oldham’s first home league game of 2015.
Scorers: Oldham — goals, Palfrey (4); tries, Tyson, Langtree; Crusaders — goals, Johnson (3); tries, Massam, Duffy, Dallimore,
Oldham: Holmes; Clay, Tyson, Gee, J Ward; Palfrey, Roper; Joy, Owen, Neal, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: M Ward, Mason, Hughes, Files.
Crusaders: Johnson, Turner, Reardon, Roets, Massam; Dallimore, White; Walker, Wright, Burke, Smith, Wild, Thompson. Subs: Ashall, Duffy, Davies, Hobson.
Ref, D Merrick; Att, 444.