Oldham 3rds returned home this weekend after a tough away victory last week. This week’s game was to be played on the first team pitch due to the 3rds game being the only one at home this weekend; this pitch often presents a challenge for the older players in the 3rds due to the extra ground to cover on the pitch, and playing the game against the team lying second in the league looked like it would present a serious challenge. The conditions on the day were terrible; heavy rain had fallen overnight, with constant rain in the morning and continuing through the day. Even the normally very good surface of the first team pitch was heavy and boggy.
Oldham had an excellent start to the game. After three minutes, Oldham had possession in the Spartans twenty two, and the ball came off the back of a ruck to Nick McDowell, who quickly passed it out to Danny Simpson. Simpson had the option of an extra man outside, but chose to run in the ten metres to the try line himself to touch down for an early try. After seven minutes, Spartans replied with a scything run from midfield to break the Oldham defence and score in the left hand corner. The game settled down to a close contest; the conditions meant that fluent running moves were unlikely, and it became a tough competition with each team trying to grind down the opposition. Oldham’s front row performed well in the scrum, but neither side could gain the upper hand, each having to work hard to retain their own ball.
After twenty minutes, Oldham edged ahead with a sprint through off a penalty, touched down by Nick Hackman. This was converted by Chris Brown. The game was still close, but three minutes from the end of the half, Alex Jobson broke through for Oldham’s third try, this to be converted by Chris Brown. Then right at the end of the half, Oldham sealed Spartans’ fete when Wayne Hadfield ran through for Oldham’s fourth try.
Half time score: Oldham 24 v 5 Spartans.
The form in the second half was similar to the first, with the ground becoming increasingly heavy in the pouring rain. It became clear that Spartans were going to struggle to close the gap, and were fighting for damage limitation. However Oldham put another three tries on the board in the second half from Lewis North (3m), Alex Jobson (30m), and finally newcomer Matt Dyson down the wing in the thirty ninth minute. All three of these were converted by Chris Brown, and there was no reply from Spartans.
Final score: Oldham 45 v 5 Spartans.
Oldham 3rds moved to joint third on points in the table. Man of the Match went to Lewis North for a great all round performance.