Level on points at the top

Date published: Monday, June 23, 2014
OLDHAM’S impressive 32-14 win at Gateshead lifted them to second place in Championship One, level on points with leaders York but with an inferior for-and-against record.

Hunslet are two points behind in third but with a game in hand.
Coach Scott Naylor described the performance on Tyneside as ‘exemplary’ and said he believed his young side was now coming of age.
“We showed a level of maturity I haven’t seen in all my time at the club,” said Scott.
“We are still a young team in many ways, but in this one we played like a side with a lot more experience and many more years behind the players.
“In the past I might have seen our heads drop when going 14-6 down against a good side away from home or, at the very least, it would have taken us a long time to get back into the game.
“Not this time. The boys kept their structure, persevered with what they were doing, wiped out the deficit and then kept the scoreboard ticking along while keeping their own line intact for more than an hour. It was great to see.”
Wingers Dale Bloomfield and Mo Agoro were again among the scorers, Agoro crossing twice to take his tally in league matches to 12 in the last eight games.
He now has 13 in total — one more than Bloomfield.
Nathan Mason was winded early in the second half by a strong tackle just beneath the rib cage. He was taken off, but he returned later, having fully recovered.
Michael Ward suffered a dead leg and there were the usual bumps and bruises throughout the side, but all 17 who played at Gateshead are expected to be fit for next Sunday’s game at Oxford.
Adam Files is out long term and George Tyson is currently fighting knocks to his back and ankle.
Liam Thompson is fit after being out for three months with a fractured cheekbone, but Naylor seems set on seeing him return via the under-20s, who don’t play again until July 5 unless one of the two outstanding games against Keighley and Featherstone is rearranged in the meantime.
On August 31, in the penultimate game of the regular season, Oldham make a return trip to Tyneside to play Gateshead for a third time in one of their extra ‘loop’ fixtures.