Workington 14 – Oldham RLFC 24

Date published: Monday, March 12, 2012

WE got off to a great start to the new Co-operative Championship One campaign with a resounding 24-14 win at Workington.

In a ding-dong battle the Roughyeds forwards stood up to, and ultimately got on top of, the huge Workington pack,which many outside of the Roughyeds camp had expected to steam roller us.

Fantastic defence, individually and collectively, was at the core of the Oldham performance, which augurs well for the rest of the season and will hopefully put a few on the gate when Gateshead Thunder come to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm) in our first home league game.

We quickly dropped behind 0-4, but we went ahead midway through the first half when John Clough, Paul Smith and Mark McCully cleverly worked the short side to set up John Gillam for a great try in the corner.

John had a lot of work to do, and not much space in which to do it, but he cleverly evaded two covering defenders to score a try which Jamie Dallimore converted beautifully off the left hand touchline.

The rest of the half was nip and tuck, but on the very last play of the first period Town went back in front with a try by Jason Mossop, which Carl Forber goaled to put Town 10-6 up at the interval.

We had surrendered a lot of possession in the first half and conceded too many penalties, but all that was to change after the interval when we tightened our ball control, became more disciplined in the tackle and consequently got well on top to score three second half tries to Town’s one.

A Neil Roden grubber opened up the defence for Miles Greenwood to score and within a few minutes we had gone in again, this time McCully touching down out on the left sideafter excellent work by Matthew Fogarty on the opposite side of the field.

Dally convrted both tries for an 18-10 lead, but Town came again when winger Karl Olstrum went over in the corner. Forber failed to add the extras, but at 18-14 with ten minutes still to go it meant there was a nail-biting finish for both sets of fans.

More magnificent defence was needed to keep the Cumbrians at bay and then we broke out on the back of two penalties to put the game to bed with four fourth try by Chris Clarke, sent in by the supporting Greenwood.

Dally made it four goals from four attempts to crown a memorable individual display, and we were home and dry.

Teamwork was the key with every ma playing his part, but perhaps special mention for replacement props Dave Ellison and new boy Matty Syron, who came off the bench to spearhead the magnificent work of the Oldham forwards inlaying down the platform for victory

Oldham scorers: goals, Dallimore 4; tries, Gillam, Greenwood, McCully, Clarke.

Team: Greenwood; Robinson, Fogarty, Brocklehurst, Gillam; N Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Clough, Clarke, Noone, Smith, M Roden. Subs: McCully, Whitmore, Ellison, Syron.

Ref: W Turley; Att: 760.