London Skolars 16 Oldham 18

Date published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A SUPERB last-ditch tackle by Mo Agoro on Skolars half-back Matt Bradley in the dying seconds saved the day for Roughyeds in a hard-fought humdinger of a game at the New River Stadium.

With Scott’s men leading 18-16, Bradley looked a certain scorer when put into the clear by Lamont Bryan until Mo came from nowhere to crash tackle him just short of the Oldham line and right underneath the posts.
There would have been no way back for Roughyeds had the try been allowed, but the match official ruled that Bradley knocked-on in the act of crossing the line in Mo’s match-winning hit.
Describing the part he played in the game’s defining moment, Mo said: “From out on the right wing I could see the Skolars move developing. I had a lot of ground to make up so I had to get to him quickly. I just made it, and he knocked-on in the tackle.”
Bradley, who a few minutes earlier had smacked a penalty attempt against an upright, insisted he had scored a legitimate try, but referee Chris Kendall thought otherwise.
Oldham survived to make it eight league points from a possible nine and to stay in second place in the league table behind York City Knights.
Scott’s boys were never behind, but each time they scored, Skolars came back at them in a tight contest that was too close to call and was wide open until the final hooter.
Sheer determination took Michael Ward through a packed defence close to the line to register the first Oldham try in the third minute, while the second Roughyeds try midway through the half was a long-range interception score by Edwin Okanga-Ajwang.
At the other end Mike Worrincy and Mufaro Mvududu scored tries for Skolars, both on the last tackle following clever kicks by Bradley.
Turning round at 12-12, Roughyeds regained the lead when Brett Robinson kidded the home defence with sleight of hand and a couple of dummies to cross for a solo effort, to which Lewis palfrey added his third conversion from as many attempts.
These goals were also to prove crucial. Worrincy scored his second try on 69 minutes to set up the grandstand finish, but Bradley couldn’t convert off the touchline and then he failed to stroke home that late penalty shot after Ben Wood had been harshly penalised for a spear tackle, even though he pulled out of the tackle in the act of lifting his opponent.
In the final analysis, Palfrey’s three goals from three shots compared with Bradley’s two from four were to prove the difference.
Oldham scorers: goals, Palfrey (3); tries, Ward, Okanga-Ajwang, Robinson.
Team: Whitehead; Agoro, Wood, Okanga-Ajwang, Bloomfield; Palfrey, Robinson; Boults, Whitmore, Ward, Crowley, Langtree, Gee. Subs: Hughes, Hobson, Mooney, Joy.