After the final weekend of the league season last week in which most of the games were called off due to inclement weather, Oldham 3rds were running out today to continue in the cup competition. This is a knockout competition and so further games were contingent on Oldham winning this home fixture against local rivals Aldwinians. After poor weather recently, the elements had taken a turn for the better leading up to the weekend and conditions on the day were very good with an excellent surface on the Knott Lanes pitch.
Aldwinians kicked off and immediately Oldham showed their intent. The game plan was to play as much as possible in the forwards and to keep the attack tight. Aldwinians struggled to defend against this approach and were always under pressure from the start. After ten minutes Oldham were rewarded with their first try when after a number of phases Stuart Brennan drove through the Aldwinians defence for his first try of the day. This was converted by Joe Rea. The pattern of play for the day was set, and Aldwinians although offering a spirited defence never managed to seriously threaten Oldham who were dominant. Stuart Brennan had his second after fifteen minutes, also converted by Joe Rea, and towards the end of the half Jon Maslen also had a try on the board, also converted by Joe Rea. By half time Oldham were fully on top of the game and the next round of the cup was in sight.
The second half continued much as the first had done, but scrums were uncontested due to injuries on both sides. The most entertaining part of the half was two Aldwinians forwards deciding to fight between themselves after Stuart Brennan’s third try. From that point on, Oldham just needed to close out the game which they did with a fourth try from Stuart Brennan, a second from Jon Maslen, and a try each for Wayne Hadfield and Steve Jenkins.
The final score was 46-0, which sees Oldham at home to Colne and Nelson 2nds next week.
Man of the Match went to Stuart Brennan who was superb throughout.
Report by Nick Middleton