OLDHAM 25 LONDON SKOLARS 24

Date published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

NEIL Roden’s last-minute drop goal did the trick !

It ended a run of nine league games without a win and kept us in the top six of Championship One with five games still to play and a maximum of 15 league points still on offer.

It was too close for comfort, but credit our lads with great character and resolve to come back from 24-18 down with seven match-winning points in the last three exhilarating minutes of non-stop action.
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As gaps began to open up all over the field and in the rearguards of both teams it was a game that could easily have gone either way at the last throw of the dice.

A couple of great breaks by Rob Foxen and Jamie Dallimore ensured that Oldham had most of the territorial advantage in those closing minutes, however, and they made it pay with Miles Greenwood’s second try, which Dallimore improved beautifully off the left-hand touchline.

24-24, three minutes left, game on !

A huge and wind-assisted drop-goal attempt by Dallimore from out of his own half sailed wide of the left-hand upright and away into the distance, but Oldham were not to be denied when Neil Roden came up with his match-winning heroics with less than a minute on the clock.

His superbly struck ‘drop’ from wide out to the left of the posts was bang on target and Roughyeds were home and dry to record our first league win since April 1 — a win on which everyone in the camp will be keen to build.

It was, indeed, pure theatre.

Earlier, we had gone into a 12-10 half-time lead with tries by left-wing Chris Murphy, on his debut, and by Dallimore, who also converted both.

In theory we should have made better use in the second half of wind and slope, but we didn’t subject the Skolars to enough pressure because we constantly conceded penalties and made it easy for them to work their way up the slope.

They scored three second-half tries to our two — both scored by full-back Miles Greenwood in the 51st and 77th minutes. He was the club’s official man of the match, while Neil Roden lifted the champagne-moment award on the back of his match-winning one-pointer.

Scorers: Oldham — drop goal, N Roden; goals, Dallimore (4); tries, Murphy, Dallimore, Greenwood (2); Skolars — goals, Skee (2); tries, Colleran, Price (2), Bryan, M Thomas.

Oldham: Greenwood; Foxen, Cookson, McCully, Murphy; N Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Clough, Gilchrist, Noone, P Smith, Bentley. Subs: M Roden, Clarke, Ward, D Smith.

Skolars: Anthony; Paxton, Price, Colleran, Adebisi; Mclean, Skee; Bryan, Thorman, Williams, Hopkins, M Thomas, Bolger. Subs: R Thomas, Sykes, Smith, Aggrey.

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow;  Att: 487.