“Thompy” comes through with flying colours

Date published: Monday, July 7, 2014
LIAM Thompson, Oldham RL Club’s loose-forward, scaled a “massive” mental barrier in his first game back after serious injury.

The 22-year-old sports psychology student played for the under-20s in their 23-22 win against Halifax at Whitebank and completed the full 80 minutes.
It was one day short of 17 weeks since he suffered a triple fracture of his cheekbone in a sickening clash of heads with team mate Kenny Hughes.
Playing alongside George Tyson in the second-row, and with Paddy Mooney, a third young player from the first-team squad at prop, Thompson did enough to get the thumbs-up from assistant coach Lee Spencer and under-20s boss Neil Roden.
Said Spencer: “He did all that was expected of him, and more. It was important for him to get this first one out of the way.”
Thompson was content to come through unscathed.
“To be honest, I wasn’t too happy with the way I played,” said the former England Schoolboys’ star.
“The main thing, though, is that I played the full 80 minutes, I made tackles and took tackles, I felt fine after the game and, more importantly, I was still okay the next morning.
“In terms of regaining confidence after this sort of injury there is nothing to compare with a real game of rugby league.
“You can do as much contact work as you like in training, but it can’t replicate the physicality and intensity of a proper game.
“To get this first one out of the way is a massive step forward for me, both physically and mentally.”
Oldham have a double date with Gloucester at Whitebank next weekend, the under-20s playing the All Golds on Saturday (2.30pm) and the first team defending their unbeaten home record against the men from the West Country on Sunday (3pm).
Added Thompson: “Whichever team I’m playing for I’ll feel a lot more confident than I did on Saturday.
“The injury was to the forefront of my mind, particularly early on, but the longer the game went on the better I felt.
“I wasn’t at my best, but next week I’ll be able to focus more on my performance, rather than on just getting through the game.”
While Roughyeds had a weekend off, their chief rivals at the top of Championship One both won in a three-horse race to finish first or second in order to get the easiest route to the play-off final
Hunslet won 45-6 at Gateshead, while York went three points clear at the top with a 30-20 win at London Skolars.
Oldham stay second with a game in hand on the leaders and one point ahead of Hunslet, both having played 13.