Haydock travelled to Oldham on a Saturday morning to play Saddleworth who last season were in the division above and the Yickers got off to a flying start.
Straight away a strong drive from Ollie Smith set the tone for the Yickers who were in no mood to mess about.
Robbie Edwards was high tackled, Haydock given a penalty and straight away the fearless Edwards with a head full of steam tapped to himself and ran straight at the big lad who had just took his head off. Jamie Short and Logan ran hard but couldn’t break the line.
Then Haydocks prop Ben Ashton ran strong crossing for a great solo try, Keiron Jones converting. 0-6 to the Yickers.
A great move between Ben Ashton and Keiron Jones saw Jones cross the line for the try of the day and missed the conversion. 0-10 to Haydock after 10 mins.
A mistake from Saddleworth from kick off saw a scrum to Haydock. Logan Jones, Todd Wood and Ben Ashton ran hard but Haydock gifted Saddleworth possession with a mistake on half way which Saddleworth picked up and raced half the length of the pitch, only to be stopped by great cover defence by Ewan Houghton, Tana Bayliss, Robbie Edwards and star fullback Connor Johnson. Saddleworth took advantage of the field position and went over in the corner for a well worked try.
Haydock received the ball from kick off with strong carries from Todd Wood, Jamie Short, Keiron Jones, Logan Jones and elusive running of Connor Johnson. Saddleworth scores just before half time to take the score to 12-10.
The second half got underway with Saddleworth scoring a well worked try. 18-10.
Haydock worked some good moves invovling Keiron Jones, Owen Dalecki, Connor Johnson and Ben Ashton but were kept at bay by a strong Saddleworth defence.
Caidan Hart-Wilson took advantage of lazy marker player and scooted Haydock up the pitch. Logan Jones, Robbie Edwards, Todd Wood, Ewan Houghton and Ethan Ross ran hard to gain ground for Haydock.
Haydock made a mistake which gifted possession and field position to Saddleworth who crossed again. 24-10.
Kerion Jones at scrum half, Owen Dalecki at stand off and Connor Johnson at fullback kept probing the Saddleworth defence but despite working well together and gaining good ground, were held out by great cover tackling from the Oldham outfits fullback.
Saddleworths big pack was kept at bay by the tough tackling of Ollie Smith, Robbie Edwards, Caidan Hart-Wilson, Jamie Short and Todd Wodd. The Oldham outfit weren’t just brawn either, they had a very agile and powerful backline that hit the Yickers out on the flanks but tireless defence from Tana Bayliss, Ewan Houghton, Owen Dalecki and Ethan Ross kept them from scoring. Haydocks Captain and fullback, Connor Johnson, sweeping up behind all the lot of them in a great defensive showing that would have made Kris Radlinski proud, Johnson just missed out on a medal.
In the dying minutes, Saddleworth crossed again to take the final score to 30-10.
Despite the result, the first half was Haydocks finest of the last 12 months. A real team performance in good spirits playing excellent rugby league.
Warrior or the match - Keiron Jones who was instrumental at scrum half.
Updated 16:37 - 23 Apr 2018 by Andy Howlett
Coaches Award - Todd Wood for his work load and effort in attack.
Opposition Coaches/Parents Award - Robbie Edwards by a landslide, he’s tougher than a cheap steak and works his socks off.