Oldham 3rds were back at home at the weekend to continue their league campaign after their cup game in Staffordshire last weekend. Carrington have had some good results so far this season, but last time Oldham played them (away at Eccles), Oldham took a strong victory. So going out with a good squad this weekend gave Oldham confidence with which to approach the game. However conditions on the day meant that the game was going to be played in poor conditions. Oldham saw a lot of snow overnight and on the Saturday morning, so the pitch was very wet, boggy and slippery, with poor weather to come in the game. The temperature was only a little above freezing too, so it was not going to be a game to enjoy.
Oldham had a decent warm up and were well prepared for the game. From the kick off, Oldham bucked the normal trend and showed themselves to be the stronger in the first five minutes. The pressure paid off with a driving maul in the right hand corner rewarding Oldham with an early try scored by Rhys Jones. Carrington looked shell shocked as they clearly weren’t expecting to be on the back foot so early. They came back at Oldham strongly, but even in Oldham territory were unable to seriously threaten a strong and determined Oldham defence. The Oldham pack worked hard in the contact area and won a number of turnovers which contributed to the territorial advantage they repeatedly gained, and twenty minutes in Oldham had their second try, this time from Stuart Brennan who was having a great game.
Carrington did come back with two tries of their own, but the first half finished with Oldham back on the Carrington line with the ball being driven over by prop Chris Heptonstall. The half time score was 15-10, with Oldham being the dominant side.
Carrington started well in the second half with their third try coming a few minutes in. But then the most bizarre event of the game; Rhys Jones had a wild stab at a drop goal from the half way line which actually went over between the posts! The world stood still for a few seconds, but on realising that it had really happened, the teams re-formed to start the game again. Carrington still had plenty of fight left, and were determined not to let the game drift away from them. They scored another try, but Oldham really got on top of the game using all their resources, hitting hard and driving in the pack, using the width in the backs, and were rewarded with more tries. Stuart Brennan scored two more, and then the final try was from Harry Ravenscroft who chased a long kick and touched the ball down in the corner. The final score for Oldham was from a penalty, converted by Rhys Jones.
The final score was 33-20. Every Oldham player had put in a great effort in awful conditions, and the team were rewarded with a superb victory. There were a number of stand out performances, including Stuart Brennan and Billy Duckworth. But Man of the Match went to Chris Heptonstall who made a great contribution and showed great determination and commitment throughout the game.