The last league game of the season saw Oldham 3rds at home to local rivals Aldwinians, the only game at home and therefore on the first team pitch which was in superb condition. Oldham arrived at the game in 3rd position in the table, with a possibility of second place and promotion with a win, depending on second place Rochdale losing away to Ashton. Oldham had a good quality squad with an excellent turn out from the 3rds; however one of the front row was under age, and therefore they had to start the game uncontested until an experienced front row player arrived.
Oldham were strong from the kick off, going forward immediately through every phase, and after three minutes, a strong run through the middle from Billy Duckworth broke a number of tackles, with Dan Atkinson taking the ball to finish off the move with a try to open Oldham’s score. After another three minutes, Anthony Beswick had scored Oldham’s second try, and Oldham were looking favourable for the win. Aldwinians had a young side, but Oldham were proving too strong for them, and they were unable to make any significant ground out of their own half. Oldham’s next try came after fifteen minutes from Billy Duckworth who was having a great game. The game was looking like the result was Oldham’s by this stage, and then Danny Simpson arrived to complete Oldham’s front row. However Aldwinians then lost a prop meaning that scrums had to stay uncontested. The game was unaffected though, and Oldham scored two further tries in the half, one each from Ainsley Brookes and Nathan Taylor. Aldwinians had a consolation try at the end of the half, and the half time score was 25-5.
In the second half, Oldham were still the stronger team, although Aldwinians broke through to score in the corner after five minutes. But after this, most of the possession was again Oldham’s keeping Aldwinians under pressure. In the sixty third minutes, Billy Duckworth took a bad injury to his ankle five metres from the Aldwinians try line, and due to the seriousness of the injury the game was declared a result so that an ambulance could be called. Billy was tended to by team mates until the ambulance arrived, and all at Oldham RUFC wish him well.
The final score was 25-10, a fair result even though the game had ended prematurely. Man of the Match goes to Billy Duckworth who played superbly prior to a bad injury and a distressing end to his season.