With yet again a lack of numbers Oldham made the short trip to Eccles for what looked like being another one sided affair. Oldham had been strengthened from the previous week by in inclusion of Sean Thackwell and his son Zak. Along with prop forward Keith Chadwick after a broken collar bone during pre season. This still made Oldham a man light. Even though Eccles had the extra man Oldham’s never give up attitude showed yet again. Some excellent running rugby from new centre partnership of Martin Kenny and Chris Haslem had Eccles on the back foot with their strong running and superb offloads. Oldham had only played 7 minutes when Pack man Sean Thackwell had to leave the field with a serious knee injury. This was followed by scrum half Anthony Beswick with an ankle injury. Things were looking bleak for the Oldham side but they kept on playing only conceding 2 tries in the first half but missing both conversions. Oldham where battered and tiring quickly and everyone’s fears of losing by a big margin seemed imminent.
From the re-start Oldham threw caution to the wind and this saw centre Martin Kenny barge his way through 5 would be tacklers with only the full back to beat. A brilliant side step from the centre and the fullback was beaten or at least that is what all the team thought. The fullback managed to ankle tap Kenny but with his pure power and determination he crossed the try line for his first try of the season. Oldham’s next casualty was back row Alex Nixon with a continuing thumb problem. This didn’t phase Oldham as the whole team took the game to a full strength Eccles side. Some good work from Chadwick and Wheeler set the platform for Oldham’s come back and the ball was released to Haslem to break through. With Kenny yet again on his shoulder the off load was given. Kenny drew both winger and fullback to release debutant Zak Thackwell to bring the scores level. Regular goal kicker Lee Whitehead had an off day with his boot missing both conversions.
Oldham now had Eccles rattled and this showed with the home team not being able to get out of their 22 metres. But with Oldham being men down Eccles found a way to break down the wing and score under the sticks. This was easily converted. Eccles from re-start received a penalty and took the final points of the day.
Even though the game was lost some excellent rugby and team spirit was shown. If this attitude keeps up Oldham will be a force to be recon with for the future. Man of the Match goes to Martin Kenny for his superb effort all round. The final score was Eccles 19 Oldham 10