Under 20s celebrate victory

Date published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
NEIL Roden celebrated the first win of his fledgling coaching career when his Oldham RL under-20s side hammered Gateshead-based North-East Academy 48-6 at Whitebank.

After five defeats by the second teams of Championship clubs (by three points versus Halifax and by six at Sheffield), the Whitebank youngsters continued to improve and progress by scoring nine tries against a regional side run by the RFL and managed by legendary former Hull and Great Britain star Lee Crooks.
“We’ve been improving week by week, but we badly needed to get this first win,” said Roden. “It was the worst thing that could have happened when we scored twice in the first seven minutes because we then moved away from the game plan.
“We spoke about it at half-time and the boys responded really well to produce a top-notch second-half display.
“It was a good team performance with some excellent individual displays, including those by Sam Singleton at full-back and the two starting props, Brad Roden and Rhys Wareing.”
Stand-off Tom Dempsey, the youngest member of the side at 17, and a student at Priestley College in Warrington, celebrated his inclusion in the North-West and Cumbrian Students’ under-19s squad, by landing six goals and dictating tactics from his pivotal midfield role.
Widnes-born, he joined Oldham at the start of this season after being released by Wigan Warriors.
Singleton, who starred in defence and attack, scored two tries and others were scored by centre Connor Partington, hooker Andrew Ball, prop Rhys Wareing, substitute back Tom Flanagan, loose-forward Richard Joy, scrum-half Jake Hughes and winger Kyle Buckley-Maya
North-East’s Kane Young was sin-binned in the first half for slowing down an Oldham restart and then got another yellow card in the second half, as did Oldham’s Paddy Fitzsimmons, after they squared up to each other at a Roughyeds play-the-ball.
Team: Singleton; Buckley-Mayall, Partington, Fitzsimmons, Sargeant; Dempsey, J Hughes; B Roden, Ball, Wareing, A Joy, Turner, R Joy. Subs: Flanagan, Wilson, Barrett, Boardman.
Roden’s boys are away to the Midlands Academy (Nottingham) and the Cumbrian Academy (Whitehaven) in their next two games and next appear at Whitebank on Saturday, May 31 against Sheffield Eagles (2.30pm).