The fifth game of the season was going to be an important one for Oldham 3rds in terms of their form, as they had won one, drawn one and lost two so far. So this fixture against the old adversary was an opportunity to put an early positive slant on the stats. A tough game is always expected when away to Aldwinians, and Oldham were up against it on the day, having only thirteen players to start. Aldwinians made the sporting gesture of lending Oldham two players, both of whom were to do their Club proud by putting in a great effort for Oldham in the game. A special mention also for Dan Atkinson who stepped up from the Colts for his first seniors game. Conditions were good; rain on the day but a good surface.
Although the game was to be closely fought throughout, Oldham began strongly, with Keith Chadwick and Nathan Taylor as key forces in the forwards, both welcomed back after some time away from the game. The great effort from the forwards, coupled with determined backs led by Craig Gedey, meant that the majority of the first half was played in then Aldwinians half, with Oldham on the front foot for most of the time. Oldham’s scrum played its part once again, always going forwards and frustrating the Aldwinians pack. The first score went to Oldham from a great Craig Gedey run from half way, touching down under the sticks. Unfortunately there followed a strange decision from Captain Paul Blomfield to allow Keith Chadwick to take the conversion, albeit from a position that the average rugby tot could have converted from. The decision backfired, and Chadwick became a key contender for Dick of the Day.
Fortunately Oldham carried on undeterred, and Craig Gedey soon had his second try on the board. The second half continued in much the same vein, Aldwinians playing in a determined manner, but short of the organisation and fluidity to beat a strong Oldham defence. Their efforts were rewarded after half an hour with a try which they failed to convert. Oldham closed out their account with a successful penalty kick from Craig Gedey in the last ten minutes. The game got a little fractious when Keith Chadwick clothes-lined one of his opponents, resulting in their team mates administering their own justice. However order was quickly resumed and the game was played out to the finish in good spirits.
Everybody on the Oldham side gave one hundred percent, and the final score of 5-13 was well deserved. A special mention goes to the Aldwinians pair who played for Oldham, particularly Barclay, who at sixty nine years of age rendered Bob Webster the second oldest player on the pitch, a very rare occurrence. Bob had had a tough week, but managed to get day release from his care home in order to play the game. Barclay played so well for eighty minutes that Oldham named him joint Man of the Match shared with Craig Gedey.
Dick of the Day very nearly went to Keith Chadwick for his missed kick, but he was pipped at the post by Paul Blomfield, who allowed Chadwick to take the kick when he should clearly have known better!