Neil Roden Testimonial

Date published: Monday, February 23, 2015
FORMER Oldham players turned back the clock at a wintry Whitebank yesterday to support their old colleague Neil Roden’s testimonial.
Nearly 200 hardy souls braved bitterly-cold sleet and snow showers to bid farewell to half-back Roden, a veteran of 296 Roughyeds games and a club record 113 tries.
He didn’t score in his swansong game, however, and his Legends side was beaten 8-4 by a marginally younger Select side, for whom tries were scored by Chris Clarke and Gavin Dodd.
Gareth Barber was narrowly wide when attempting to convert Clarke’s try, but he didn’t get a chance to add extra points to Dodd’s try because, as the weather worsened, referee Ian Smith called a halt as soon as Dodd touched down.
After a scoreless first half of 30 minutes, Clarke edged Select into the lead, but Legends replied quickly with an equalising try by Andy Isherwood following a huge break by centre Lee Doran.
Ian Hodson and Lucas Onyango offered first-class support and the old firm of Roden and Keith Brennan then took over to send in Isherwood wide of an outflanked defence.
Like Barber, Roden also failed to add the extras.
A drawn game looked to be on the cards, but a Select side coached by Steve McCormack gradually got on top, with Barber pulling the strings at half-back, and grabbed the winning try when Dodd literally strolled over the Legends line with not a defender in sight.
Legends, coached by Martin Crompton, lined up like this:
Sam Singleton; Lucas Onyango, Anthony Gibbons, Lee Doran, Michael Fogerty; Neil Roden, Keith Brennan; Ricky Bibey, Martin Roden, Jason Clegg, Ian Sinfield, Jason Boults, Ian Hodson; Subs, Leo Casey, David Gibbons, Martin McLoughlin, Andy Isherwood.
Select: Chris Dootson; Gavin Dodd, Mark Brocklehurst, Mark Cahill, Alan Campbell; Gareth Barber, Alan Holland; Aaron Hall, Andy Ball, Rhys Wareing, Connor Partington, Jay Yarwood, Chris Clarke; Subs, Ryan Staziker, Lee Sanderson, Brad Roden, Graham Hibbert.
Said Roden: “Considering the dreadful weather there was a terrific turn-out by fans and by my former colleagues, to whom I say a heartfelt thank-you.
“It brought back loads of memories and it was great to play alongside so many of my former team mates again.”