This weekend Oldham 3rds returned to Bury after beating them at Bury in a cup fixture three weeks ago. This gave Oldham a degree of confidence approaching the game, and on the day they had a good sized squad with subs, continuing a positive trend this season which hasn’t been seen with this consistency for a number of seasons. On the day, conditions were chilly and damp with rain falling before and during the game, but the surface was good with no challenges for the game.
From kick off, events followed a fairly well established pattern for Oldham 3rds, in that the defence didn’t get into its stride at the whistle, and Bury put a marker down with an early (and easy) try which a couple of decent tackles would have prevented. This was a definite wake up call for Oldham, because from that point onwards through the first half they showed great spirit and determination, keeping Bury on the back foot. Oldham were the side going forward, and the pressure they exerted both with their own possession and also on Bury’s, resulted in numerous penalties their way, which fly half Nick McDowell repeatedly kicked down the line to gain Oldham territory. Eventually the pressure told, and from a breakdown just outside the Bury twenty two, Paul Blomfield passed the ball to McDowell, who on only his second game back in over a year, showed the old magic with sidesteps repeatedly beating defenders to go over the line himself to score Oldham’s first try. Captain Blomfield attempted the tricky conversion against the wind, only to drift just outside the upright. Bury scored a second try later on in the half, again mostly against the run of play.
Half Time Score: Bury 12 v Oldham 5
The game was pretty much even at half time and going into the second half all was to play for. Oldham were first to show, with a multi-phase passage deep in Bury territory finishing with John Land to put Oldham back in touching distance. However from that point, the tables turned. Oldham were affected by a number of injuries, and had to change the team around, and eventually ended up with fourteen back on the pitch. But Bury had made some very effective substitutions at the half way point, and took advantage of Oldham’s problems, clocking up four tries in the half and converting two of them.
Final Score: Burys 3rds 36 v Oldham 3rds 10
Bury deserved the win in the end, but Oldham had put in a good performance and although disappointed with the result were able to say that all players had put in a great effort. Man of the Match was awarded to Jon Maslen who featured consistently in and around the breakdown and carried the ball well.