Today’s away game was only Oldham’s second game of the season, but Oldham turned out with a full squad including four on the bench, and were looking to come away with a good result from an old local rival. Conditions for the game were excellent, including a really good playing surface.
The first half of the game didn’t go to plan for Oldham. Dukinfield put their marker down with a try after four minutes which they converted, and after twelve minutes they had another. Oldham were not playing to their strengths, and were throwing the ball around, not using the strength of the pack, and support for the runners was slow arriving when necessary. Chris Brown showed promise with some good runs through the midfield, often breaking two and three tackles, but he struggled to capitalise on this as Dukinfield forwards were quick to get to the breakdown and always put Oldham ball under pressure, winning numerous turnovers. Dukinfield scored another two tries after eighteen and twenty five minutes, one of which they converted. A ray of hope for Oldham came after thirty minutes when after a series of pick and drives in the Dukinfield twenty two, Neil Forsyth carried the ball over for Oldham’s first try, which was converted by Brown.
The score at the end of the first half was 26-7.
At half time, Paul Blomfield gave a stern but inspirational talk, reminding the team what their strengths were and how they had won games historically. This clearly paid off, because after eight minutes of the second half, Kevin Golland took the ball off the back of a maul and broke through the Dukinfield defence to score a try. This was converted by Brown. Alan Pierre then featured in the game by scoring a try after ten minutes, and another after fourteen minutes, this one coming from a well-executed attacking line out. Both were converted by Brown. After seventeen minutes, Golland scored his second try, again converted by Brown. The game plan was working for Oldham; they were winning ball and using it well in the traditional way, capitalising on the strength and experience of the pack. Everything was coming together, including the Oldham scrum which was going consistently well. Dukinfield were frustrated and had little in the way of reply.
A further two tries came after thirty minutes and thirty eight minutes, the first of these from Forsyth off the back of a rolling maul, and the second from Greg Pearson in his first game of rugby. Both were converted by Brown. The second half had shown a fantastic turn around by Oldham, and the final score was 26-49.
Final Score: Dukinfield 3rds 26 v Oldham 3rds/Vets 49
Man of the Match went to Chris Brown, for great work in the midfield, and also for one hundred percent kicking success. Also worthy of mention were the try scorers Golland, Pierre and Forsyth, who scored two each, and finally Les Moran who switched from hooker to tight head, and did a great job.