After last weekends unexpected defeat Oldham had to show they were still a team to be reckoned with. Eccles had beaten the league leaders by 2 points last week so this should have been a tough game for both teams. A late call up for regular stand off Josh Watson to the 1st team meant some changes had to be made. With some different players in the squad Oldham started the game and went looking for the first points. The game was scoreless for the first 15 minutes but the level of rugby being played was very good. Oldham seemed the stronger team but couldn’t break Eccles defence. Eccles had to start the game uncontested which took some of Oldhams weapons out of the game. After an injury to a Eccles player Oldham re grouped and changed the game plan.
Oldham had worked on their lineout’s and this showed as they demolished Eccles at every lineout winning all there ball and most of Eccles. This set the platform for the backs to do their thing.
The first of Oldhams 14 tries came from a set move from Mark Fitton breaking the Eccles defence and pop the ball to supporting Alan Hollingsworth to score under the sticks. This was the opening Oldham needed and from the re-start Oldham went into attack mode not giving Eccles any opportunity in the game. Next to score was winger Joe Greenough who was in support of Mark Fitton and scored for his first try of his season. Eccles didn’t want to give up and went on the attack every time they got the ball. They broke down the wing only to be stopped on the halfway line by Phil Walmsley. Winger Joe Greenough went into get the ball and was then racing down the wing to score an excellent solo try building Oldhams scoreline. Oldham could only manage one more try in the first half by centre Alan Hollingsworth who dodged 3 tacklers to cross the whitewash for his second try of the game.
Half time came and some changes where made to rest some players for next week. This is when the flood gates opened for Oldham. With another 10 tries coming in the order of Martin Kenny 2, Martin Hamer 1, Alan Hollingsworth 5 and Joe Greenough 2 .With Hollingsworth kicking 13 conversions. Gary Phelan should have scored his first of the season after a barn storming run from his own try line running through the whole Eccles team with only the fullback to beat but decided to kick ahead. This didn’t work and the ball went 10 metres backwards. This goes to show forwards shouldn’t kick. Some excellent work from Fullback Lee Whitehead kept Eccles to nil. Also a special mention for scrum half Mark Fitton who was superior and bossed the game from the kick off.
Oldham looked like the they could have played another 80 mins but the final whistle was blown and the spoils went to a dominant Oldham side.
An all round first class display from Oldham in every department.
Final score Oldham 96 Eccles 0.
Man of the match was a hard choice with big displays from so many players but Phil Walmsley got the nod for his all round game.