This weekend saw the first home game of the season for Oldham 3rds. For the second week running, Oldham had a great turnout with players to spare. This worked out well, as Hope Valley arrived with only eight players, and therefore Oldham lent them four and played thirteen v twelve. Thanks to Dave Ryan, Chad Brown, Greg Higgins and Sean Slicker for stepping up to play for the opposition. The match had uncontested scrums from the start due to Hope Valley not having a front row for the game.
Unusually, Oldham got the early try, six minutes in. This was a well worked try, with Johnnie Leach touching down in the corner off a short pass. Hope Valley came back with determination, and showed early on that they were strong in the backs when passing the ball out to the wide channels. However after nineteen minutes Oldham had their second try, this time with Neil Forsyth carrying the ball over off the back of a five yard scrum. Oldham were making their mark on the game now, and in the twenty fifth minute Chris Brown took a pass from Anthony Beswick after a great weaving run from Beswick, and scored the third Oldham try.
Hope Valley were no pushover though, and came back with two tries of their own after twenty eight and thirty four minutes, before Mark Bradbury scored again for Oldham, this converted by Chris Brown.
The half time score was 22-17.
The second half was a closely fought scoring fest, with the first try coming for Oldham from a great run by Stuart Brennan in which he broke four tackles before carrying the ball over; this was converted. Hope Valley replied after eight minutes, but Neil Forsyth scored his second after fifteen minutes, again off the back of a scrum. This was converted by Chris Brown. Hope Valley kept the pressure on and won a penalty after thirteen minutes which they converted, but Oldham scored again after seventeen minutes with a great run of over fifty metres from Stewart Brennan, again converted by Chris Brown.
Hope Valley scored a further two tries after twenty and twenty three minutes, but then after thirty two minutes Carl Molloy had a great run into the corner for a try. Two further tries came from Oldham, one each from Stuart Brennan and Neil Forsyth, the first of these converted by Chris Brown.
Final Score: Oldham 3rds 60 v Hope Valley 1st 35
A great win for Oldham, and also leaving in them in a healthy position in the league.
Man of the Match went jointly to Neil Forsyth and Chris Brown.