Despite the poor weather during the week, the thirds set out to Heaton Moor on a day with good conditions, and an arrival found they were playing on the first team pitch which was in excellent condition. Oldham 3rds had actually been in danger of calling the game off due to a lack of numbers available to play but the clubs second team fixture was cancelled due to the weather and the 3rds squad was boosted by several happy and willing individuals who wanted a run out on a Saturday afternoon. This meant that it was by far the strongest Oldham 3rds side of the season that turned out at Heaton Moor. Despite this, Oldham 3s were still looking for their first win, and hoping today would present that opportunity.
From kick off, Oldham followed common form and let in a try after two minutes. However they soon switched on and took command of the game. Eight minutes in and after a period of good possession in the Heaton Moor half, Joe Rea kept the ball at his feet at the back of a driving scrum and dropped on it as it crossed the line for Oldham’s first try of the day. Three minutes later, Stuart Brennan sprinted down the left wing for Oldham’s second, this time converted by Chris Brown. Oldham were playing with confidence now, and although Heaton Moor had the better pace, they were unable to make sustained progress on the pitch in the half. After thirty five minutes, Oldham gave a strong drive on a maul from ten metres out, and Bob Webster scored the try at the back of it. To finish the half, after thirty eight minutes Stuart Brennan made a long run though the mid field from near the half way line to score Oldham’s fourth try.
Half Time Score: Heaton Moor 2nds 5 v Oldham 3rds 22
So with the half time score well in their favour, it was looking like the game was Oldhams to win. However in the second half, Heaton Moor were the more determined looking side playing more consistent rugby. But Oldham’s defence held strong. Heaton Moor scored their second try eighteen minutes into the half but were unable to assail Oldham’s lead. Oldham had other try scoring opportunities, but over ambitious offloads and too much kicking prevented them from stretching their lead.
Final score: Heaton Moor 2nds 10 v Oldham 3rds 22.
So with a heavily supported squad, Oldham 3rds had gained their first victory of the season but almost certainly denied their opponents a win that would have lifted them up the league .Its a tricky call and a dilemma many clubs must be facing as player numbers become challenged, especially for away games as well as Christmas approaching. So many captains have to spend the latter part of the week rustling up numbers and teams seem to be falling by the wayside with a saddening frequency.
Overall a good day for Oldham and some excellent performances by those that took the field. Man of the Match went jointly to Luke Ferrier and Greg Higgins for a great efforts from them both throughout the game.