Oldham 3rds arrived at the Club this weekend hoping to continue in the form they showed in the previous week’s win against Ashton-on-Mersey. This fixture was against another mid-table side which they beat away in a cup game earlier in the season, so Oldham were bringing some confidence to the game. On the day, conditions were excellent and the ground was extremely good, having had the benefit of no rain for a couple of weeks and being rolled in preparation for this weekend.
Manchester kicked off, and Oldham immediately showed their intent. From receiving the ball, a few phases of play saw Oldham in possession in the Manchester half, and the ball was then passed out through the backs to Kristaps Lusins at outside centre, who sprinted down the right wing to score Oldham’s first try. This was converted by Rhys Jones.
The pattern of play for the first half was set; Oldham were the stronger team, making good ground by using their strong runners, and challenging well for the ball at breakdowns. Oldham’s second try was soon on the board, this time from some close range driving, with Rob Froggatt finishing off the attack and touching the ball down for the score. Oldham now had a confident air, and were passing the ball through the hands with good effect. One series of good passes out to the left wing resulted in Colt Harry Ravenscroft, playing his first game of Senior Rugby, scoring his first of the day, followed shortly after by another manoeuvre in which some good hands in the centre and a long looping pass was thrown out to Ravenscroft for him to score his second try. Manchester’s only riposte in the first half was from a penalty which saw them put them three points on the board.
Half time score: Oldham 22 v 3 Manchester.
In the second half, Manchester showed great determination; with their key ball carriers driving hard at Oldham. They also upped their game in the contact area, competing hard for the ball whenever possible. Their efforts were rewarded with a converted try, but this did not deter Oldham. The home side put another three tries on the board, a second for Froggatt, including one in the corner from Jones, and another from a kick and chase from the half way line from Wayne Hadfield, in which he sprinted through to chase his own kick and touch down for the try.
Final Score: Oldham 3rds 37 v Manchester 3rds 10
Harry Ravenscroft was awarded the MoM for two great tries and an excellent all round game in both attack and defence. Overall it was a good outing for Oldham 3rds. They now go forward into a very busy end of season with a further nine games in the next six weeks. Oldham’s next fixture is Dukinfield away on Saturday 26th March.