With such a long layoff between games this was going to be no easy task for the first game back after the winter flurry. Glossop where only 1 place below Oldham in the league but had a game in hand. On the previous meeting Oldham had taken a severely weakened team to Glossop and were punished losing the game. Now with the new look team this was going to be a belter. Because of the fitness training by Captain Martin Meggison Oldham looked the fitter team by far. The game was delayed after Glossop players were caught in traffic in Ashton which didn’t help Oldhams cause.
Oldham drew first blood with a penalty being awarded just in the Oldham half to which Meggison called for the kicking tee. With the wind behind him he easily slotted the 3 points. Oldhams forwards stood up to the mark and where not prepared to take a backwards step either in the scrums or lineout’s. New lad Martin Hamer was excellent in the lineout’s both winning his own ball and some of Glosssop. The next points came yet again from dissent by Glossop to which Meggison converted the penalty.
Some good ball play from Josh Watson saw Oldham pressure Glossop virtually all the half but Glossop rallied and showed why they deserve to be in the top part of the league not letting Oldham score.
Both teams lost a player to a yellow card in the first half and this seemed to up the tempo. The team spirit and communication within the Oldham team was second to none.
Half time Oldham 3’s 6 v Glossop 3’s 0
The second half kicked off and Oldhams tactics had changed. With the wind driving into the face of Oldham it was clear Glossop would kick everything. The return of Jimmy Forster and Michael Grimes into the squad helped the cause. With Forster giving good ball to the backs it was only a matter of time before the Glossop line was broken. This came from an Oldham scrum to which Anthony Beswick released Meggison who fed fullback Mark Fitton into a gap. With 2 players to beat Fitton ran directly at them drawing the tackles and passed the ball to supporting flanker Grimes to score the games first try which Meggison converted.
Oldham where in cruise mode driving every ball forward with force and commitment. The support play was there for every drive and this surprised a much bigger Glossop side. With the conditions under foot not being at their best it was no wonder quite a lot of ball was dropped.
Glossop managed to score a try after Oldham gave away 3 stupid penalties and allowed Glossop to drop over the line. Changes were made and tactics discussed before the re start. Oldham went back into attack mode and it wasn’t long before a gap opened up for centre Martin Kenny to sprint from his own 22 metre line dancing round 4 tacklers to score in the corner. The wind caught the ball and the conversion was missed.
Glossop looked tired but Oldham looked brand new and it showed in the game with errors creeping into the Glossop side. Some bone crunching tackling from captain Meggison got the Glossop team pressed back in their own half. An excellent display from Oldham yet again showing fitness can win you games. The only down side was a yellow card being shown to Oldhams captain near the end but Oldham rallied and managed to spoil every attack from a well beaten Glossop side.
This win takes the teams unbeaten run to 10. Man of the Match goes to Martin Hamer who was excellent in open play and just as good in the lineout’s.