Match report – Oldham v Whitehaven SEAT trophy

Date published: Monday, January 24, 2011

RAMPANT Roughyeds got their hands on their second piece of pre-season silverware with a 50-0 demolition job on Whitehaven at the Whitebank Stadium on Sunday, January 23 to win the SEAT Trophy for the first time at the third time of asking.

The Cumbrians had won it twice previously, both times at the Recreation Ground (in 2003 and 2010), but in this instance Oldham turned on the style to run in nine tries without reply and thus add the SEAT Trophy to the Law Cup which Tony Benson’s boys picked up thanks to their 34-28 victory over derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank three weeks earlier.

Mr David Cook of David Cook Motors, sponsors of the SEAT Trophy, enjoyed the game. Speaking later at post-match presentations in the hospitality suite, he said: “It’s good from a personal point of view that the Trophy is ‘coming home’.

“For a whole variety of reasons the trophy has only been contested twice previously over a number of years, but on each of those occasions we travelled back from Whitehaven, leaving the trophy in Cumbria.

“It’s good to see the trophy back on Oldham soil.”

Mickey Diveney

This time victory for Oldham was never in doubt. Whitehaven were heavily penalised around the ruck which meant Roughyeds had loads of possession and they made it count by taking the game by the scruff of the neck early on.

In the first 20 minutes Roughyeds recorded a 100 per cent completion rate to go 24-0 up with tries by Martin Roden, Ben Heaton, Alistair Williams and John Gillam, each converted splendidly by the impressive Mick Diveney.

Roughyeds played an excellent and entertaining brand of rugby in which the forwards totally dominated the battle up front to give halves Neil Roden and Diveney plenty of time and space to create scoring opportunities out wide for the threequarters.

By half-time in-form Heaton, at full-back, had gone in for his second touchdown and young Matthew Fogarty, at 18 the baby of the squad, had scored his first Roughyeds try on his home debut courtesy of Diveney’s chip and regather near half way.

Diveney posted a 100 per cent goalkicking record in the first half as Roughyeds turned round with a 36-0 lead after having enjoyed first use of the slope.

Matthew Fogarty

They prepared themselves for having to do more defending in the second half, and they did it superbly well to ‘nil’ their opponents, showing an enormous appetite for the defensive challenge despite having made try-scoring look easy.

They went on to add three more tries in the second half by Jack Bradbury, Gillam and Williams with Matty Ashe adding a goal after taking over the kicking duties from Diveney, who was given a well-earned breather.

Andy Isherwood, Dave Ellison, Martin Roden, Valu Bentley and new signing Paul Noone, on his debut, provided experience to blend nicely with young bulls in the pack like Liam Gilchrist, Johnny Walker, Luke Sutton, Danny Whitmore, Chris Clarke and Tom Wood-Hulme, all of whom contributed much.

Andy Isherwood

Oldham: Heaton; Onyango, Williams, Bradbury, Gillam; N Roden, Diveney; Ellison, M Roden, Gilchrist, Isherwood, Walker, Bentley. Subs: Fogarty, Sutton, Whitmore, Clarke, Wood-Hulme, Ashe, Noone.

Whitehaven: Cook; D Smith, Ellbeck, Beattie, Rossi; Palfrey, Manihera; Hill, C Smith, Culnane, S Miller, Wilton, Dalton. Subs: Watson, R Fox, D Miller, George, Stephenson, Farrar, S Fox, Hamzat, Crellin.

Referee: P Brook (Manchester); Att: 426.

Neil Roden won the club’s official man-of-the-match award, but he promptly handed his prize to his half-back Diveney. “Mick was the best player on the field, particularly in the first half,” said Neil.

“In fact, there were one or two more deserving winners than me in a good team performance. The objective of these games is to improve match on match and we certainly improved on our performance in defeat at Featherstone.”

Matthew Fogarty won the champagne-moment award for his first try in Oldham colours, but he wasn’t present in the clubhouse later at the presentations to Jack Bradbury, who also scored his first try for the Roughyeds, went on stage to collect it on his behalf.

Chairman Chris Hamilton said the team performance was “first class from start to finish”. He added: “There were good performances right across the park. The squad is looking good and strong. It won’t be easy for Tony (Benson) to pick a 17, but that’s a nice problem to have.”

Tony B said: “To be honest I expected a good performance. We have a good squad and we have worked well. These games are all about working on areas of your game that need to be improved.

Tom Wood-Hulme

“Particularly pleasing was the fact that we put into practice what we have been doing in training. It is one thing to do it on the training paddock; it is different altogether to do it when opposed in a match.

“The score didn’t matter too much. The important thing was the performance. It was good. The biggest problem I have now is picking a squad of 17 or 18 from all the good players at my disposal. I left six out today, yet we still played 20 and everybody did well.

“The young players have forced the issue over the last couple of months of pre-season training and have forced themselves into contention.”