WORKINGTON TOWN 34 OLDHAM 29

Date published: Monday, September 10, 2012

OUR 2012 season ended at Derwent Park on Sunday (September 9) when a last-gasp try by Workington centre Jason Mossop ended our interest in the Championship One play-off series for another year.

It was a cruel blow for a tough-tackling and determined Roughyeds outfit which had led from the 28th minute to the 78th and for most of the game had looked the better and more creative footballing side.

Full marks go to caretaker coach Martin Roden and all his players for their efforts over the last four games of the season, first by qualifying for the play-offs in sixth spot and then for making such a magnificent attempt to lower the Cumbrian colours on a ground where we are still the only Championship One side to have won this season.

Town were determined we were not going to beat them for a third time this season, but they will be the first to admit that they got out of jail by coming from 6-19 down and then 20-29 down with only eight minutes left to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with Mossop’s killer try two minutes from the end when he won the chase to touch down a speculative Carl Forber high kick.

Town drew first blood with a try by Kris Coward, goaled by Forber, while our young prop Jamie Acton was in the sin-bin, but we then rattled the home side with 19 unanswered points, coming from tries by Neil Roden, Alex Thomspon and Paul Smith, three conversions by Jamie Dallimore and a drop goal by Neil Roden.

It was important for us to keep that lead until half-time but Town made a master-stroke substitution on the half hour when they sent on replacement hooker Graeme Mattinson after a spell out through injury.

He had been on the pitch only a few minutes when, out of nothing, he scored a brilliant trademark try with a high-speed dash to the line from well out, beating several defenders on the way.

It was a very important try for the home side, but it came at a cost because Mattinson dislocated a shoulder while going over the line in a tackle and will almost certainly miss the remainder of Town’s interest in the play-off series.

We started the second half 19-10 in front. The next try was always going to be an important one and it came to us even though we set off by giving away three penalties in a row in the space of a few minutes.

Roughyeds tackled and covered brilliantly to make amends for those lapses of discipline and concentration and they were rewarded when Neil Roden’s cross kick to the corner produced a try for Michael Ward.

Dallimore couldn’t convert this one into the teeth of a stiff wind and from the touchline, but the next ten minutes of the game were to prove crucial because Roughyeds supplied all the pressure and looked capable of adding to their score only to see Town stay in the game with a fantastic length-of-the-field individual try by Elliott Miller on the counter attack.

Roughyeds went close to extending their lead to 28-10 —- game over —- but instead that piece of Miller magic left them trailing only 14-23 and with a renewed belief that they were still in the game after all.

Oldham were by now starting to feel the pressure of doing a huge amount of tackling and defending earlier in the game and they conceded again when Town stand-off Brett Carter sliced through the defensive line for a try which Forber improved to put them only 20-23 in arrears.

We silenced the home crowd once again when Neil Roden sent Smith through a gap and round the full back for a 29-20 lead with eight minutes left, but we failed to tie up the game and close it down and we paid the penalty when Neil Frazer went over in the corner for a try which Forber goaled superbly off the touchline: 26-29.

As the clock ticked down it looked like staying that way, but in a last desperate bid to snatch the spoils Forber hoisted a high and speculative kick which bounced away from Miles Greenwood and into the Oldham in-goal as Mossop sped up from an onside position to win the touchdown race.

Forber goaled and then added a late penalty for good measure, but there was no doubt that Oldham deserved a lot more than that for their magnificent efforts over the 80 minutes.

Oldham scorers: drop goal, Roden; goals, Dallimore (4); tries, Roden, Thompson, Smith (2), Ward.

Workington: Miller; Calderwood, Patrick, Mossop, Frazer; Carter, Forber; Whitehead, Olstrum, Coward, Phillips, Stack, Annakin. Subs: Mattinson, Shackley, Macdonald, Thackray.

Oldham: Greenwood; McCully, Noone, Ward, Brocklehurst; Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Clough, Joy, Acton, Smith, Thompson. Subs: Bentley, Whitmore, Langtree, Gilchrist.

Ref: G Hewer; Attendance: 563