Hull 82 – 0 Oldham

Date published: Sunday, May 8, 2011

WELL beaten, but not disgraced. Indeed, each of the 17 players who wore Oldham shirts in our fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup clash against Super League outfit Hull FC at the KC Stadium on Saturday (May 7) tackled his heart out and gave of his best in a brave team effort against all odds.

The score, 82-0, did not reflect all the hard work the Roughyeds put in against the sport’s full-time professionals, but it has to be said that we gave away such a lot of possession, often early in a set, that we made life even harder for ourselves than we needed to.

[singlepic id=676 w=320 h=240 float=left]The tie is best summed up in the words of our coach Tony Benson. He said: “Ours was mainly a defensive effort, given that we had 20-odd sets and Hull had nearly double at 43. There was also a high percentage of sets in which we lost the ball early, resulting in our having to make more than 250 tackles — a phenomenal number.

“By the time we did get the ball we had nothing left in the tank and that was one of the reasons why we made such a lot of handling errors.

“Several times we defended back-to-back sets on our own line and in the second half our midfield defence improved too, although anyone who didn’t go and just looked at the score would perhaps find that difficult to comprehend.

“The debut boys all did a great job. To step up from the reserves one week to Super League the next is a massive ask, but they did really well.

“Scott Mansfield didn’t know he was playing until this morning,but he was great. So was Michael Ward. Both halves, Jamie Dallimore and Mick Diveney defended well, I thought.

“The experience of playing a Super League team in a stadium like this was fantastic experience for my boys. Hull went out of their way to make it a special day for us and I can’t thank them enough for that.[singlepic id=674 w=320 h=240 float=right]

“It was also pretty special of them to field such a strong side. From the time when the draw was made, our boys have wanted to be pitted against a Super League outfit and anything less than that would have been a disappointment to them.”

The one major disappointment from the tie was the last-minute injury to John Gillam, who went down awkwardly in a tackle with a suspected broken foot. It was only John’s second game back after a ten-week absence to get over surgery to mend a fractured eye socket.

This injury is all the more destructive because of the knock that has ruled out Lucas Onyango for a couple of months or even longer.

There were two magical moments in the tie, from Oldham’s perspective, but neither led to a score. The first came in the first couple of minutes when Shaun Robinson picked up a loose ball on the right and immediately shipped it over to the other side of the field where Ben Wood ran strongly and then put the ball inside to Chris Clarke, who couldn’t hold it under pressure from the retreating defence.

The second came, also in the first half, when Michael Ward fastened on to an intercept ball and took it well into Hull territory. Sadly, no one could get with him, but he went 40 or 50 metres in a break that he will probably remember for the rest of his life.

[singlepic id=673 w=320 h=240 float=right]Danny Whitmore withdrew from the side on the morning of the game because of a virus, this resulting in the call-up of Mansfield, who fully justified his call-up with a major contribution on both attack and defence.

For the record, Hull scored 15 tries by Oldhamer Jordan Turner (3), Sam Obst (2), Richard Whiting (2), and Reece Lyne (2) plus one apiece by Danny Houghton, Will Sharp, Martin Gleeson, Richard Horne, Sam Moa and Lee Radford. Whiting also kicked 11 goals.

HULL: Whiting; Sharp, Gleeson, Turner, Briscoe; Horne, Obst; Moa, Haughton, Dowes, Manu, Lauaki, Washbrook. Subs: Lyne, Aldous, Kent, Radford.

OLDHAM: Nield; Robinson, Fogarty, Wood, Gillam; Dallimore,Diveney; Ellison, Clough, Gilchrist, Noone, Clarke, Bentley. Subs: Ward, Mansfield, Stenchion and Sutton.

referee: C Leatherbarrow    att: 6,235.