Reserves do Oldham RL proud at Cheltenham nines

Date published: Monday, April 26, 2010

ROUGHYEDS reserves did the club proud in the Cheltenham Nines Festival on Saturday when they went agonisingly close to reaching the final of the festival’s most prestigious tournament — the All Golds Cup.

In their first group game, Roughyeds beat last year’s overall winners, the Royal Navy, 18-14 before going on to top the group thanks to a 24-20 win against Jamaica.

That qualified them to compete with three other group winners for the All Golds Cup, in which they were drawn to play Wales Students.

With a minute left Roughyeds were in the lead 14-10, but the Students scored out wide in the dying seconds to level at 14-14 and then they converted off the touchline to snatch a last-gasp passage into the final.

The rules demanded that conversions had to be drop kicks rather than place kicks and the Welsh team had a drop-goal specialist whose expertise carried his side through at Oldham’s expense.

“We came within a whisker of reaching the final,” said Roughyeds coach John Hough, “and we enjoyed the trip immensely.

“Hopefully, we will be invited again next year because we got a lot out of it in terms of experience and it was certainly good for fitness. The nine-a-side game is exceptionally fast and furious.”

Roughyeds reserves play at York City Knights on Thursday night (8.00pm kick off) in their second league game of the season, having lost 42-30 at Featherstone in game one.