Oldham Reserves 32 – 6 Sheffield Eagles

Date published: Friday, April 20, 2012
ROUGHYEDS Reserves made it three wins from five outings in the under-23s Reserves Championship with a 32-6 win against Sheffield Eagles at Whitebank on Thursday night, April 19.
In so doing Paul Ashton’s boys avenged a 38-14 loss against the Eagles, also at Whitebank, in the first league game of the season on March 8.
In the second game between these two sides Roughyeds stormed into a 26-0 half-time lead despite playing up the hill first half and despite limitations on open rugby imposed by the wet weather and heavy pitch.
The second half was more evenly balanced as conditions worsened, but Roughyeds went 32-0 up before Eagles scored their only points on the very last play of the game.
Ashy’s men had set out their stall to ‘nil’ the opposition and throughout the game the fans who braved the elements could often hear the call going out when Eagles were attacking: “No tries, Oldham, no tries!”.
Roughyeds came within seconds of achieving their objective but credit Eagles with the determination to cross the Oldham line at least once even though they were always staring defeat in the face.
Steven Nield, on the right wing, scored a hat-trick of tries for Oldham to emulate Shaun Robinson, who also scored three from the wing position in the previous game against York City Knights.
Mark Brocklehurst, Chris Dean and Ben Hinsley also crossed the line on the back of some excellent attacking play by the half-backs, Tommy Connick and Craig Noon.
Jack Reid (3) and Mark Smith landed conversions on a night when the lads played some excellent rugby in the first half, especially so considering how clingy and wet it was underfoot and with ball in hand.
The platform was set by the hard-working forwards, who included new boy Jamie Acton in the second row. The Londoner, who has signed a contract to November 30, did well considering it was his first game for several weeks and he was in a new side.
Props Liam Gilchrist and Bruce Johnson, the latter coming off the bench, also caught the eye.
Team: Brocklehurst; Nield, Dean, Hinsley, Rigby; Connick, Noon; Joy, Reid, Gilchrist, Acton, Cunningham, Smith. Subs: Langtree, Hughes, Johnson, Foreman.