Tyson brace for Under-20s

Date published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
OUR under-20s will play York City Knights at Whitebank this coming Saturday, April 5 (2.30pm kick off). York are not in the league but they are playing a series of ‘friendlies’ so that first-team fringe players and others can have regular game time. 
At Whitebank last Saturday, George Tyson scored a brace of tries in an impressive second-row performance for the under-20s, who were beaten 36-20 by Featherstone Rovers.
The 20-year-old back-row man, on a season-long loan from Salford Red Devils, pushed his claims for a chance at senior level with a competent all-round showing on both attack and defence.
Though the competition is billed as ‘Championships Under-20s’ rules permit clubs to play up to half a dozen over-age players subject to prior agreement.
Roughyeds fielded six players from the senior squad in Steven Nield (centre), Lewis Palfrey (stand-off), Phil Joy (prop), Alex Davidson (prop), Tyson (second-row) and Mark Hobson (loose-forward).
Rovers, one of the strongest clubs in the Championship, played four ‘seniors’ in ex-Leeds Rhinos full-back Josh Sunley, centre Joe Fox and forwards Jack Ormondroyd and Shaun Pick.
Oldham trailed 18-10 at half-time and were still only eight points in arrears — 28-20 — until the last four minutes when Rovers ran in two more tries to take their total to eight.
Only two were converted otherwise Rovers would have won by a bigger margin, but against that Neil Roden’s side had two tries disallowed which might have been worth another 12 points.
Hobson crossed in the first half on a beautifully delayed short pass from Palfrey only for the touchjudge on the far side of the field to inform the referee the pass was forward.
Then, midway through the second half, Liam Sargeant was judged to have lost his grip on the ball in the act of finishing off a smart left-flank move despite the player’s protests that the score was legitimate.
In each case Rovers rubbed salt into Oldham’s wounds by immediately taking play to the other end and posting tries themselves.
Roughyeds under-20s have still to win, but each of their three league defeats to date has been against clubs from the upper echelons of the sport’s second tier —- Leigh Centurions, Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone.
Said coach Roden: “There were a lot of good aspects to our performance. We are definitely improving game by game which is pleasing.
“But we have a few things we need to work on, such as doing better in controlling the ruck. The first-team players gave us a lift and we won’t have them every week, but even so I thought we showed definite signs of improvement.
“If we keep on improving and working hard the elusive win will come.”
Of the regular under-20s players none did better than hooker Andy Ball and left-winger Reece Whitfield.
Ball’s up-the-middle break from dummy half paved the way for Tyson to score the first Oldham try wide out on the left.
Tom Flanagan similarly cut the Rovers defence wide open to set up Hobson’s try.
Tyson, Phil Bickerstaff and Whitfield combined beautifully to send in Sam Singleton for the third Oldham try, while Tyson rounded off Oldham’s scoring with the fourth try on Palfrey’s wide pass.
Oldham scorers: goals, Tom Dempsey 2/4; tries, Tyson (2), Hobson, Singleton.
Team: Singleton; Dempsey, Nield, Bickerstaff, Whitfield; Palfrey, Flanagan; Joy, Ball, Davidson, Tyson, Partington, Hobson. Subs: Sargeant, B Roden, Boardman, Haney.