Oxford 4 Oldham 22

Date published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
ROUGHYEDS pumped up the pressure on leaders North Wales Crusaders with a 22-4 win at Oxford which cuts the Welsh side’s lead to one point.

More importantly, Scott Naylor’s boys are now six points clear of third-placed Hemel Stags, giving credence to the ever-growing belief that Roughyeds are the only team now which can realistically challenge Crusaders for the top spot and, with it, automatic promotion.

Oxford, coached by our former team boss Tony Benson, fielded ten former Oldham men in their 17, so it was very much a case of ‘Oldham old’ v ‘Oldham new’.

The new boys triumphed reasonably comfortably, scoring four tries to one and restricting the home side to a score which didn’t qualify them for a bonus point.

Lucas Onyango, later to suffer a painful knee ligament injury which forced him to quit, went over in the second minute, but for the remaining 78 minutes Oxford were scoreless, such was the quality and effort of Oldham’s defensive effort.

Every single player did his bit in another all-round team performance which augurs well for the remaining five league games, starting this coming Sunday, July 14, with the visit of South Wales Scorpions to Whitebank, kick off 3pm.

Tries were scored by Jon Ford, Nathan Mason, Adam Files and Kenny Hughes, while Lewis Palfrey kicked three goals from four.

It was enough to give us our fourth win in a row; our eighth victory in ten outings; and an ever-growing belief that we are hitting our best at just the right time to meet the challenges of the business end of the season head on.

There were big individual performances in both backs and forwards with the starting front-row of Phil Joy, Sam Gee and Michael Ward setting a superb lead up front, while winger Dale Bloomfield excelled in the backs  with a performance in which he was as safe as houses under the high ball, returned it magnificently, set up the try for Ford and more than once got Roughyeds out of a tight corner with his excellent footwork coming out of defence.

Oldham scorers: goals, Palfrey (3); tries, Ford, Mason, Files, Hughes.

Oxford: Leather; Onyango, Halliwell, Johnson, S Robinson; Connick, B Robinson; Hadden, Clough, A Bentley, JJ Baird, V Bentley, Roden. Subs: Hoggins, Ellison, Thompson, Clarke.

Oldham: Lepori; Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Bloomfield; Palfrey, Hughes; Joy, Gee, Ward, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson. Subs: Files, Thompson, Haggarty, Mason.

Referee: T Crashley; Att: 327.