St Helens 76 – 0 Oldham

Date published: Sunday, April 29, 2012

THE Roughyeds’ interest in Carnegie Challenge Cup 2012 came to an end in the impressive new Langtree Park stadium on Friday night, April 27, when we went down fighting against the super stars of Super League club St Helens, losing 76-0.

Despite that scoreline our boys won many new friends for their sheer commitment to the cause on a night which has to be viewed as a more than successful conclusion to our Challenge Cup ‘journey’ this year.

We were the only Championship One club to appear in the last 16 of the sport’s biggest knock-out trophy and that in itself was an achievement of which everyone at the club can be justifiably proud.

In many ways the score was irrelevant. We had to go there with pride and passion, flying the flag not only for our club but also for Championship One and, as every fan will agree, we certainly did that.

To put things in perspective the Saints have recently put 62 points on Widnes Vikings and 46 on Leeds Rhinos so while this result was not entirely unexpected it certainly does not compromise the effort and sheer commitment shown by our boys.

From start to finish the whole occasion and experience totally justified our decision to take the tie to Langtree Park after being drawn out of the hat first. We couldn’t play at Whitebank anyway and as events eventually proved it made real sense to switch the venue to Saints.

On the field the boys did us proud, putting their bodies on the line against full-time professionals — many of them internationals — and finishing with just as much pride and honest endeavour that they displayed from the start.

Off the field a crowd of 5,746 surpassed the expectations of most people and the receipts will have earned our club a few bob, although it is too early at this stage to be talking about figures

Included in that crowd was a very large contingent of Roughyeds’ supporters and the club would like to thank all those who travelled to support the team and the club on its big night out on the big stage.

“Our fans were magnificent, not only in how they turned up in numbers but in how much vocal support they provided for the boys from start to finish,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton at the end of a very satisfying cup run for the Roughyeds.

He added: “I would also like to pay tribute to Tony (coach Benson) and the boys for doing us proud. Every player gave everything he had. We couldn’t have asked for more from anybody — just a pity we lost Miles Greenwood with an ankle injury, but hopefully it will turn out to be an injury that was perhaps not as serious as first feared.

“So its a big thank-you from the club to the supporters, the coaching staff and last but not least the players, all of whom showed tremendous spirit and commitment when thrown against one of the best club teams in world rugby league.”

For the record the teams lined up like this:

Saints: Paul Wellens; Tommy Makinson, Michael Shenton, Josh Jones, Francis Meli; Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax; Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, James Roby, Paul Clough, Andrew Dixon, Sia Soliola, Mark Flanagan. Subs: Chris Flannery, Shaun Magennis, Carl Forster, Joe Greenwood.

Oldham: Miles Greenwood; Mark Brocklehurst, Davd Cookson, Matthew Fogarty, Shaun Robinson; Danny Whitmore, Jamie Dallimore; Jason Boults, Martin Roden, Chris Clarke, Mark McCully, Michael Ward, Valu Bentley. Subs: Jamie Acton, Alex Thompson, David Ellison, Matty Syron.

Referee: G Stokes; Att: 5, 746.

Thoughts now turn to the main job in hand for this season — winning promotion to the Championship. It all starts again next Sunday, May 6 when North Wales Crusaders come to Whitebank (3pm kick off) for what we hope and trust will be a match which attracts a sizeable crowd as we strive to cement our place in the upper reaches of Championship One.