Post match presentations

Date published: Monday, June 7, 2010

GREGG McNally won the Roughyeds’ official man-of-the-match award for his half-back performance in the 40-26 win against Blackpool Panthers, while Paul O’Connor took the champagne-moment prize.

Man of the match Gregg McNally

McNally, the 19-year-old Cumbrian who is on loan from Huddersfield Giants, will be available for this coming Sunday’s home game against Doncaster, but his month’s stay will then be up.

Both McNally and O’Connor were presented with their awards on stage in the Whitebank clubhouse, which was packed post-match with supporters, fans, sponsors and invited guests.

Doing the post-match presentations in public is now a regular part of the Whitebank game-day experience.

O’Connor won the bottle of bubbly for his long-range try late in the game when he showed a clean pair of heels to the Blackpool defence as he raced home towards the bottom end of the ground.

“I’m just glad we were playing that way,” he said. “I might not have made it otherwise.”

The long-serving full-back, who has played in 98 games for Oldham in cup and league, added: “It’s nice to receive awards like this, but it really goes to everyone. It was the work that the forwards did in weathering the early storm that set the pattern for the rest of the game.

“I would also like to mention the fantastic support we got. If we can continue to keep on pulling spectators back, we’ll keep responding with performances like the one we produced today.”

Champagne moment went to Paul O'Connor

In making the presentations, club chairman Chris Hamilton took the opportunity to publicly recognise the job being done at reserve-team level by coach John Hough, his players and their backroom team.

Turning to the Blackpool game, he added: “Whitebank is feeling more and more like home every time we play here. There was a good atmosphere around the ground and that generated a superb camaraderie.”

Blackpool vice-chairman John Chadwick, once a director of the former Oldham Bears club, said: “You out-enthused us. The wheels have come off a bit at Blackpool for various reasons, but that is to take nothing away from Oldham.”

His coach Martin Crompton, a former Bears captain, had said earlier — as he left the Panthers dressing room: “After this, I am seriously reviewing my position. Internal issues are causing me problems. So what’s the point? I’m fighting a losing battle.”

His opposite number Tony Benson said: “The first half went to plan. We took the uphill and just wanted to be with them at half-time, so that’s why we took the goal kicks whenever we got the chance.

“We purposely didn’t go for goal when we got penalties in the second half because we were running downhill by then and the plan was to keep going at them and keep putting them under pressure.

“We knew who we had to close down and we did it to the letter. But there was a lot of room for improvement too. We took our foot off the pedal for 15 minutes and some of our defence on the edges, and our positional play, was pretty average.

“In a lot of areas we were very good, however. Gregg McNally gets better every week and it is always nice to have Neil Roden back.

“The atmosphere was fantastic, phenomenal. It made things invigorating for us
and extremely difficult for Blackpool.

“But we must not get carried away. This win will mean absolutely nothing if we don’t back it up with a similar performance next Sunday against Doncaster at Whitebank. That will be another very tough challenge and we need to work just as hard as we did in preparing for Blackpool.”