After a three week break, Oldham 3rds travelled to North Manchester for a fixture against their 2nds. In fact it was a mixed North Manchester team, heavily loaded with their first team who didn’t have a game at the weekend, although in fairness to North Manchester they may have been struggling for 2nds numbers and did what they needed to do to play the fixture. There was an inauspicious start to the proceedings when the Oldham players changed for the game, only to realise they didn’t have any kit. North Manchester came to the rescue with a spare red kit which looked like something that might have been found in the early chapters of the Oldham RUFC Centenary book, but nevertheless Oldham were kitted out and ready to go.
Oldham kicked off and North Manchester ran back at them with speed and determination, big runners hitting the Oldham tackles hard. They recycled the ball quickly and within a few minutes they had their first try on the board. What became clear very quickly was that North Manchester were going to play the game at a very quick pace, one that Oldham 3rds would normally try to slow down. However Phil Graham and Josh Watkins at nine and ten had other ideas and took every opportunity to run great lines and switches to try and beat the North Manchester defence. Territory soon went to Oldham, and in usual style it was a driving maul in the corner which was touched down by Ainsley Brookes that opened Oldham’s account. North Manchester came back with a second try to keep their noses in front, but were unable to pull away. Oldham were awesome in the pack both in open play and in the scrum and Oldham were fully in the game. Oldham came back with a great run through from Phil Graham to go two tries each. North Manchester scored another two in the first half, but Oldham were determined not to let them get away.
However in the second half, North Manchester were just that bit sharper and their pace had the better of Oldham. They kicked the ball very rarely, playing everything in hand, even penalties on their own five metre line. Oldham scored a try in the second half, again a well worked move in the pack finished off by Greg Higgins. Overall the whole Oldham squad gave one hundred percent and enjoyed the game. The final score was 47-15.