Oldham reserves v Dewsbury reserves

Date published: Sunday, July 4, 2010

Roughyeds reserves kicked off a hectic spell of three games in eight days with an impressive 58-6 win against Dewsbury Rams at Whitebank on Friday night.

Loose-forward Johnny Walker, pacy on the break and always aware of the presence of support, gave an inspired performance in which he scored two tries and set up three more for Mick Diveney, Ross Coates and Mark Brocklehurst.

Roughyeds scored 11 tries in total –five in the first half and six in the second — while stand-off Diveney converted seven of them.

Diveney, debutant winger Lewis Brooks, Brocklehurst and Walker (twice) scored in the first half and the six second-half tries came from Austen Barrowclough, Coates, Brocklehurst, Jamie Knight and Kashley Watkins (2).

John Hough’s men go to Leigh in a rearranged fixture on Tuesday and then to Sheffield Eagles next Saturday.

The game against Leigh will take place at Golborne Parkside ARLFC and will kick off at 7.30pm.

Said Houghie: “No disrespect to Dewsbury, but Leigh away is going to be a different sort of game altogether and we have to prepare ourselves for that both mentally and physically.

“We appeared to come through the Dewsbury game without any more injury concerns so that’s a big help.

“We scored some good tries and there were a lot of good individual performances within the team effort.

“It’s a tall order to play three games in eight days — we go to Sheffield next Saturday — and we wanted to get off to a good start against Dewsbury, which we did.”

Brocklehurst, Scott Mansfield and Dewsbury second-row man Danny Jones all spent time in the sin-bin for separate incidents as the referee awarded 20 penalties in total — 12 to Roughyeds and eight to the Rams.

Oldham led 32-0 before the visitors scored their only try by prop Steve Talbot, converted by Danny Flowers, eight minutes into the second half.

For most of the game, Roughyeds’ good defence kept their opponents out, and the enthusiasm his players put into their defensive efforts must have been welcomed by Houghie.

Roughyeds had four tries on the board in the first 18 minutes. The first fell to Diveney, who backed up on the inside when Walker strode through a midfield gap to post notice of his intentions to have a tremendous game.

Three minutes later, from a tap penalty, Walker, Watkins and centre Jamie Knight all handled crisply up the short side for new-boy Brooks to touch down in the corner.

Full-back Brocklehurst, who also impressed, joined up with the threequarters to slice through the Rams’ defence for Oldham’s third try and then Walker went in twice before half time, at which point Oldham led 28-0 after playing up the slope.

Diveney, who also showed up well, set up Walker’s first, while his second followed a long run by Watkins, who had latched on to a loose ball in his own 20-metre zone to mount a counter attack which ended with Walker touching down at the clubhouse end.

In the early part of the second half play became disjointed with Oldham down to 12 men and going through a period when they conceded four penalties in a row.

Despite this, they stretched their lead when Barrowclough scored one of his trademark tries from dummy half before the Rams got their only points of the game following a period of sustained pressure.

The next Oldham try was a classic example of how to turn defence into attack. Debut-boy Brooks exploded on to a teasing Rams kick into the Oldham quarter and beat several defenders in an exciting counter attack before handing on to Walker who in turn found Ross Coates on his shoulder about 30 metres from the Rams line.

Coates quickly hit top gear to get outside Dewsbury’s right-side defence and score in the corner.

Mansfield (Oldham) and Jones (Dewsbury) then followed Brocklehurst for a breather in the cooler for separate slowing-down offences, but Roughyeds regained their composure to finish off with four more tries in the last 20 minutes.

Diveney and Walker spectacularly fashioned a second try for Brocklehurst, and then Diveney’s astute distribution opened up the Rams defence once again for Jamie Knight to stroll in unopposed.

Watkins then touched down from close quarters in the corner before going in for his second try near the end when he was put into the clear by Mansfield. The second-rower had far too much pace for a weary-looking and overworked Rams defence and there was no geting near him as he raced to the corner.

The reserves own version of the M People — Mellor, Mansfield, Marsden — worked in harmony in the front-row and set the pattern in the opening stages for all that was to follow.

Tommy Connick at scrum-half and Danny Chetwynd on the left wing also showed some nice touches.

Team: Brocklehurst; Brooks, J Knight, Williams, Chetwynd; Diveney, Connick; Marsden, Mansfield, Mellor, Ward, Watkins, Walker. Subs: Barrowclough, D Knight, Joy, Coates.

Attendance: 175; Referee: B Robinson (Liversedge).