This weekend’s game for the thirds was the second consecutive match with uncertainty over the venue. The game should have been at Carrington, but they asked for a reversal of the fixture due to their usual venue being unavailable. But then in the middle of the week they contacted Oldham to say the game was now going to be hosted at Eccles. Unperturbed, Oldham travelled to Eccles for the game. The conditions were excellent on the day, but the pitch allocated was the Eccles ‘spare’ pitch which had the contours of a rolling meadow and grass long enough to be combed and styled.
Both sides made a determined start, but Carnforth scored a try after ten minutes. Oldham settled well in to the match, and even though Carnforth had a large pack, Oldham were stronger in the scrum, which became a key feature of Oldham’s game on the day. The first half was deadlocked them until after half an hour, Oldham had excellent position with a breakdown in the Carrington corner, from which Craig Gedey sneaked round the blind side to score Oldham’s first try. With a score on the board, Oldham were now really in the match, and a few minutes later, Craig Gedey did it again, this time from further out and sprinting through for Oldham’s second try, converted by Chris Brown. And then the half was finished off by Stuart Brennan with one of his characteristically powerful runs through the middle to score Oldham’s third try, also converted by Chris Brown.
Oldham started the second half ahead, but then really started to make their mark. They were pushing Carrington back in every scrum and securing strong attacking positions from the set piece, from where Oldham’s strong runners were coming into their own. Matt Dyson was the first to show his hand with a clever run beating a number of slower defenders, swiftly followed by a great run from half way by Hammad Illtaf, passed at the last second to Kev Golland who had followed all the way in support, who touched the ball down for a try. Other Oldham tries in the second half came from Danny Hill, Stuart Brennan (2) and Craig Gedey, four of which were converted. Carrington were frustrated in the second half, and their defence struggled against Oldham’s quick feet, but they still popped in a further three tries of their own.
Final Score: Carrington 2nds 27 v Oldham 3rds 57
Oldham came away with a great win, the first League win of the season. The game had been played in a good spirit, and all players had an enjoyable afternoon. Man of the Match for Oldham went to Danny Hill, whose fleet of foot repeatedly beat Carrington defenders, and who scored one of the best tries of the day.