South Wales Scorpions 12 Oldham 24

Date published: Monday, March 25, 2013

WHILE this was not one of our better performances during our promising start to the season (five wins out of six and three in a row), Scott Naylor was more than happy to finish the Northern Rail Cup group stage with victory on a bitterly cold day in South Wales and after a coach journey of more than 220 miles over five hours.

He said: “We will need to improve a lot ahead of our opening league game against Rochdale at Whitebank on Friday, but we’ll take this win, and move on.
“It was good to know we can come down here and take on a strong side after a long coach journey and well below our best yet still find a way to win.
“We showed a lot of character, especially in the second half. We were a lot better by then but I felt that in the first 20 or 30 minutes we were still on the bus. We didn’t get any momentum and when you concede momentum to opponents early in a game it is very difficult to regain it later.”
Roughyeds did well to go in at half time with a 6-4 lead after soaking up loads of pressure from a competent and well-drilled Scorpions outfit, strengthened by the not insignificant presence of four dual registered young players from Wigan Warriors in centre Rhodri Lloyd, half-back Sam Powell, loose-forward Connor Farrell (named as their man of the match) and Oldham-born James Greenwood.
The Welsh side went 4-0 up inside six minutes with a try in the corner by winger Dalton Grant after a powerful drive to the line by a player who perhaps looked to be the strongest forward on the field, James Tutuila.
Scott continued his recent practice of rotating his squad and going into battle without dual reg players, this time resting his skipper Lewis Palfrey and his vice-captain Sam Gee as well as centre Danny Samuel, bringing in David Cookson at centre, Jamie Dallimore at half-back and Chris Tyrer on the bench.
Neil Roden became captain for the day and it was his clever little kick over the defensive line which led to our only try of the first half.
Dale Bloomfield raced on to the ball, transferred inside to the supporting Kenny Hughes and Roden was up there in support to  finish off in the corner.
It was his 111th try in 292 Oldham appearances, but he played down its significance, saying: “All I had to do was drop over the line.”
Not strictly true, of course, but he did owe much to winger Bloomfield and to replacement hooker Kenny Hughes, who did himself and the team proud when he got his chance late in the first half.
Our forwards played with much more aggression in the second half, ably led by loose-forward Mark Hobson, who produced a stirring individual performance against a raw and rugged set of Scorpions forwards to come up with his best offering yet in a Roughyeds jersey and to show why Scott and Spanner were keen to sign such a hard-working forward.
Even so, the game was finely balanced at 12-12 going into the last quarter of an hour and at that stage Scorpions had scored three tries to our two, the difference being that Dally kicked beautifully to finish with four goals out of four attempts, while his opposite number Ollie Olds failed to convert each of his side’s three tries.
Danny Langtree had crashed over for our second try in the 55th minute, running a great line to hit Dally’s pass at top speed and go in.
It was at that stage, 12-12, that Chris Tyrer and Scorpions’ Connor Farrer were sin-binned for an altercation at Tyrer’s play-the-ball, play resuming with a penalty to the home side.
It was Roughyeds, however, who fared the better while two players were off the field and we secured victory with two late tries by Bloomfield and Dallimore.
A lovely piece of centre play by Steven Nield produced a perfect execution which gave Dale a try in the corner, and then Dally dazzled and deceived the home defence by shaping to drop a goal for a seven-point lead before jinking his way through a packed defence to score under the posts.
His four goals included two off the touchline, giving us a total of nine out of ten in our last two games —- five out of six for Lewis Palfrey against Gateshead and four out of four for Dally here.
Oldham scorers: goals — Dallimore 4/4; tries, Roden (34 mins), Langtree (55), Bloomfield (68) and Dallimore (71).
Team: Lepori; Agoro, Cookson, Nield, Bloomfield; Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Files, Gilchrist, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson. Subs: Joy, Tyrer, Hughes, Marriott.
Referee: P Brooke (Manchester); Att: 300 (estimated).