Date published: Monday, August 20, 2012

MARTIN Roden’s Roughyeds produced their best display since early season to beat high-flying Workington Town at Whitebank on Sunday (August 19) and thus rekindle realistic hopes of finishing in the play-offs.

To do that we have to end up in the top six and we are currently in sixth place, with one game left at Gateshead on September 2, although London Skolars could knock us out if they were to win each of their two remaining games at home to Whitehaven and Doncaster.

Because of injuries to Mark McCully and Chris Murphy, Martin Roden had to reshuffle his threequarter line, playing Michael Ward in the centre and recalling Mark Brocklehurst on the left wing although he had played almost a full game at centre the night before in the reserves grand final at Featherstone.

He also called up Danny Langtree for his senior debut off the bench, although he had also played in the forwards at Featherstone less than 24 hours earlier.

Both Roden and club chairman Chris Hamilton, in his post-match talk to sponsors in the hospitality suite, referred to the “magnificent” effort put in by Brocklehurst and Langtree, who were presented, for these very special reasons, with the champagne-moment and man-of-the-match awards respectively.

We had first use of the slope and took full advantage to score four converted and unanswered tries by Miles Greenwood, Neil Roden, Ward and Lucas Onyango to lead 24-0 at half-time thanks to Jamie Dallimore’s four conversions.

Only rarely did Town threaten our line and when they did our tackling and general defensive work was first class —- a feature of our performance that was to come in very handy indeed in the second half when the visitors threw everything at us going down the slope.

We were also penalised no fewer than 12 times in the second half — 19 overall — to put ourselves under enormous pressure that we handled magnificently with arguably our best defensive performance of the season.

Town scored three converted tries to peg us back to 24-18, but with time running out it became their turn to concede penalties, in their anxiety, and that was to prove decisive, especially when they failed to put their last penalty of the game into touch and we got vital possession which we retained to the end.

Two penalty goals by Dallimore sealed a great win which gave us the double over one of the strongest sides in the competition.

In the dying seconds there was an incident in which players of both sides traded punches before referee Joe Cobb produced the yellow card for our Luke Stenchion and Town’s Brett Phillips and the red card for our Jamie Acton and Town’s Elliott Miller.

Teamwork and a never-say-die spirit were key to our triumph, but none did better than tough-tackling Ward and Dave Cookson in the centre and the battlers in the middle who took on and more than matched the big Town forwards.

Full marks to all the forwards then, with special reference to those who did it tough up front in the middle like Jason Boults, Luke Stenchion and the young guns around them such as Alex Thompson, Jamie Acton, Chris Clarke, Danny Langtree and Liam Gilchrist.

Oldham scorers: goals, Dallimore (6); tries, Greenwood, Roden, Ward, Onyango.

Oldham: Greenwood; Onyango, Cookson, Ward, Brocklehurst; Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Thompson, Acton, Noone, Smith, Clarke. Subs: Langtree, Clough, Stenchion, Gilchrist.

Town: Miller; Frazer, Mossop, Morris, Calderwood; Lupton, Forber; Thackray, Bainbridge, Coward, Phillips, Stack, Annakin. Subs: Shackley, Whitehead, MacDonald, Robinson.

Referee: J Cobb; Att: 538