Oldham 3rds returned home this weekend after a convincing win away at Village Spartans the previous weekend. Oldham’s recent run of good form had put them at the top of the table, and this weekend’s fixture against Carrington was effectively a match for the top spot. The weather on the day was good, but the Knott Lanes pitch was very heavy due to poor weather over the last couple of weeks, to the game was going to be a something of a trudge for eighty minutes. However those conditions are not unfavourable to Oldham 3rds, so it was game on. Thanks go to Matt Dyson for playing the first twenty minutes for Carrington until their full numbers arrived.
Oldham got off to a poor start with Carrington running in their first try after three minutes and then as second after five minutes, both converted. Oldham however were not deterred, and began to play a patient game while looking after their possession. In the tenth minute, Oldham’s patience was rewarded, when after eight consecutive phases Mike Green ran in for Oldham’s first try which was converted by Chris Brown. The game then became tight with neither side able to assert themselves, so the game became a muddy tug of war. There were frustrations for Oldham in that many refereeing decisions were going against them, although this was not helped when player frustrations were loudly verbalised resulting in the referee giving ten metres against them on a number of occasions, and two lots of ten metres consecutively on one occasion. Matters became more challenging in a bizarre yellow carding of captain Paul Blomfield just after the half hour mark; there was no charge from the referee other than ‘being a source of constant irritation’; probably the nearest the referee could come to penalising the team for his own frustration with himself. Also, in the thirty fourth minute, Steve Jenkins was carried off with a potentially serious knee injury after being tackled in a near-scoring position. The team wish him well. However just after this, Oldham scored their second try in which Mark Worthington ran in a ball from a scrum in the Carrington twenty two which he touched down for Oldham’s second try. Unfortunately Carrington replied with a third converted try of their own, meaning the half time score was 12-21.
In the second half, Oldham were the first to show when David Ashton kicked a ball through and chased to touch it down for a try after fourteen minutes. At 17-21 Oldham were right back in the game, and had every chance of taking the victory. However Carrington proved the fitter side and were able to punish Oldham’s mistakes in the rest of the half with a penalty and three more tries, making the final result 17-42.
A great effort had been made by Oldham, but on the day Carrington were the better team in the second half. Man of the match went to Mike Green who tackled like a trooper throughout the whole game.