Gateshead Thunder 40 Oldham 14

Date published: Monday, September 1, 2014

We were well beaten at Gateshead, 40-14, in a game in which we lost Lewis Palfrey with a dead leg and Phil Joy with mild concussion in the first 20 minutes. Neither of them was able to return so for three parts of the game we had only 15 players which obviously seriously affected planning regarding substitutions and the need to ‘spell’ people.

We got off to the worst possible start and went 16-0 down inside 18 minutes. Coupled with the injuries, this was a body blow from which we never recovered.
We had our best spell when we scored three unanswered tries inside ten minutes midway through the second half to reduce Thunder’s lead to 24-14, but the hoped-for fight-back wasn’t to be and Thunder came back with another 16 points to finish worthy winners on a day Roughyeds will quickly want to forget.
Thunder, who cemented a fourth-place finish with this win, scored eight tries in total after a great first-half which coach Stanley Gene described as the best 40 minutes in his time at the club.
From our perspective it was all the more disappointing because we needed a win up there to ease us towards a second-place finish and a home tie in the first round of the play-offs.
That is now out of our hands so we won’t know until this weekend whether we will finish second or third, but it will probably be third, given that Hunslet would have to lose at South Wales to keep us in the hunt.
Nathan Mason and Jon Ford, who bagged a brace, were our try scorers at Gateshead, while Steve Roper landed one goal from three shots.
Gateshead: Martin; Mapals, Heil, Brown, Capper; Beharrell, Meads; Barron, Stamp, Fewlass, Clarke, Payne, Esslemont. Subs: Hough, Stoker, Murray, Bowring.
Oldham: Palfrey; Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Clay; Roper, Robinson; Joy, Owen, Ward, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Mason, Mooney, Hughes, Gee.
Ref: D Merrick.