Oldham U20’s 18 York City Knights U20’s 17

Date published: Monday, August 19, 2013
A penalty goal by Steven Nield in the dying seconds gave Oldham RL under-20s a thrilling 18-17 win against York City Knights at Whitebank.

Three weeks ago the Roughyeds youngsters were trounced 54-0 at York, but they turned the tables on the Championship club with a totally committed and gutsy team effort which in many ways mirrored first-team performances.

They led 16-10 at half-time, but York levelled at 16-16 within five minutes of the restart and then edged in front at 17-16 with a drop goal by stand-off James Morland ten minutes from the end.

Roughyeds were not to be denied, however, and in one final assault on the York line the visitors edged offside at an Oldham play-the-ball and ice-cool Nield made no mistake with his match-winning goal.

Said coach Phil Costin: “It was a great way to finish our season. I’m delighted for the boys. They had a point to prove after being annihilated at York and all 17 of them rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in.

“Their tackling was tremendous against bigger opponents. Defence won it for us and over the 80 minutes we deserved to come out on top.”

Hooker Andrew Ball, prop Richard Joy and right-winger Tom Hurst scored Oldham’s tries, while Nield converted two of them and then added the decisive penalty goal.

Ball, who worked hard throughout, burrowed his way over from dummy half; Joy dived in by the posts after York failed to clean up a high restart kick; and Hurst grabbed the third try on the stroke of half-time from Sam Singleton’s crosskick to the wing.

Scrum-half Singleton, who gave an eye-catching performance, created a clear-cut chance for a fourth try, but centre Ryan Ravenscroft was unable to shake off a covering defender and make the most of the opportunity.

Team: Halsall; Hurst, Ravenscroft, Buckley-Mayall, Nield; Fitzsimmons, Singleton; Hall, Ball, Sherratt, Rasool, Bradley, A Joy. Subs: R Joy, Wareing, Sargeant, Dyson.

The game brought an end to the under-20s disjointed season in which both South Wales Scorpions and Hemel Stags failed to fulfil fixtures at Whitebank.
Of the 12 games played, Roughyeds won five and lost seven, five of which were against Championship teams and one against Salford City Reds of Super League.
Wins were recorded against Rochdale (twice), Halifax, Hemel and York, while several players were promoted to train with the first-team squad, among them Singleton, Aaron Hall, Danny Rasool and Niall Bradley.