Oldham 3rds were back at home this weekend for their first outing since their worst result of the season at Carrington two weeks ago. Being the only home game this weekend, the game was to take place on the first team pitch – always an extra challenge for some of the older legs on the third team, and a shadow was over the game before the start due to Oldham having been well beaten by Heaton Moor 3rds; therefore a tough game was expected from Heaton Moor 2nds. Oldham were also to start and play most of the game with fourteen players – a fact which did not bode well for the game.
From kick off, Heaton Moor proved they were coming for a result very quickly, and immediately put the pressure on Oldham. The game was firmly rooted in Oldham’s half for the first fifteen minutes, much of it in the twenty two. But Oldham defended with spirit and manage to keep Heaton Moor from scoring. Then Oldham managed to keep their possession and make good ground through more organised phases, and in the sixteenth minute Kristaps Lusins finished off an excellent move in the right hand corner with his first try of the game. Oldham had put their marker down, and worked hard to keep Heaton Moor at bay with success. However after thirty five minutes Heaton Moor’s sustained pressure paid off with a converted try.
Half time score: Oldham 5 v 7 Heaton Moor.
In the second half, the game took a downward turn overall, with tensions from the first half affecting the game throughout, and with both sides bringing unwelcome verbal contributions into the game, resulting in the continuity of the game being lost, and numerous interventions from the Referee. Some questionable tactics were seen to result in player injuries, and the game became a grudge match between the two sides. Heaton Moor were the first on the board in the second half with a try after twenty four minutes to extend their lead. However four minutes later, Oldham showed superior pack strength and used their driving maul in Heaton Moor’s twenty two, with Wayne Hadfield putting the ball down for a try. Heaton Moor had no answer, even though some of their backs had promising runs cutting through the midfield. Kristaps Lusins had been superb throughout the game, but defensively and also with his crashing runs through the centres. After thirty three minutes he scored the final try of the game, which was converted by Chris Brown.
Final score: Oldham 17 v 14 Heaton Moor.
Outstanding performance of the game went to Kristaps Lusins, but Man of the Match was not awarded on this occasion due to the lack of consistency in discipline across the team.