Match Report – Swinton Lions v Oldham Roughyeds

Date published: Sunday, February 28, 2010

SWINTON 20 OLDHAM 38

ROUGHYEDS opened their 2010 Co-operative Championship 1 campaign in fine style with a seven-try winning performance in the away game against Swinton Lions at Sedgley Park on Sunday.

Winger Lucas Onyango weighed in with a hat-trick of tries to underline the quality of Oldham’s expansive style of rugby and Paul O’Connor, Martin Roden, Wayne Kerr and Joe Chandler also crossed the Lions line.

Tony Benson’s boys had to come from 20-16 down at one stage in the second half, but once they had steadied themselves and regained control there was never any doubting their superiority.

Stand-off Neil Roden was outstanding in the manner in which he orchestrated the Roughyeds in the middle of the field, benefiting also from the slick support of his half-back partner Matty Ashe.

The Oldham halves outplayed Ian Watson and Chris Hull on the back of a strong display from the Roughyeds forwards. This in turn allowed the backs to show enterprise, pace and skill, highlighted by Onyango’s hat-trick but with eye-catching performances also from full-back O’Connor, centres Marcus St Hilaire and Mick Fogerty and the other winger Mark Brocklehurst.

Up front there was a huge effort by all the forwards with some outstanding individual stuff on show too from the likes of Martin Roden, Wayne Kerr, Chandler and Dave Ellison.

The Lions, fancied to do well this year, fielded several ex-Oldham players in Gavin Dodd, Ian Watson, Andy Isherwood, Dave Newton, Tommy Grundy, Lee Wingfield and Phil Joseph but this new-look Oldham outfit took on a hugely experienced side and displayed exemplary team work and togetherness to emerge worthy winners.

Coach Tony B was delighted to get the league campaign off to a winning start. After the game he told the Oldham Evening Chronicle: “In the first half we were on top in all areas and territorially we were winning the game. But we didn’t score enough points and we then started to panic a little bit near the try line.

“Also, when things didn’t go our way I think our heads dropped and that was when they scored two quick tries.

“We talked about this at half-time and agreed that we needed to toughen up. In the second half we did that and it was a really good effort.

“I was proud of what we did. We took command and the two tries we had disallowed could easily have been tries of the year.

“We hung in there, kept going and forced the issue by not allowing them the bonus point.”

The game was marred near the end when Oldham’s Kerr and Swinton’s Watson were sent off for fighting and players from both sides got involved.

TB added: “I was disappointed with what happened at the end. I felt there wasn’t enough respect for the game there.”

Swinton: Dodd; Foxen, Reay, Stewart, D Hull; Watson, C Hull; Isherwood, A Smith, Newton, Grundy, P Smith, Rigby. Subs (all used): Hulse, Heaton, Wingfield, Joseph.

Tries: D Hull (16), Wingfield (36), Joseph (38), Grundy (44).

Goals: Dodd 2/4

Sent off: Watson (80, fighting)

Oldham: O’Connor; Onyango, St Hilaire, Fogerty, Brocklehurst; N Roden, Ashe; Boults, M Roden, Kerr, Heaton, Chandler, Bentley. Subs (all used): Ellison, Robinson, Murtza, Whitmore.

Tries: O’Connor (11), Onyango (21, 33, 51), M Roden (54), Kerr (70), Chandler (74).

Goals: Ashe 5/9

Sent off: Kerr (80, fighting).

Referee: Craig Halloran (Dewsbury)

Penalty count: 12-10

Attendance: 627

Scoring sequence

First half: 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 4-12, 4-16, 10-16, 14-16

Second half: 20-16, 20-20, 20-26, 20-32, 20-36, 20-38