Oldham 3rds were looking forward to their first home game of the season as they welcomed Bury’s 2nd team to Manor Park on what looked like being a alovely afternoon, perfect conditions for a game of rugby.
At the outset of the game it looked as though Oldham had the measure of, what turned out to be, a strong Bury side.
From the kick off Oldham set out their stall and made camp in the Bury twenty metre area. Bury couldn’t help but concede penalties and Oldham went close when Daniel Atkinson was held up over the line. Oldham came back for the scrum and seven phases later Jon Maslen burrowed his way through the Bury defence to score. The goal kick was missed but Oldham had the lead. It wasn’t to last long.
On nine minutes Bury struck wide out on the right with a converted try to take the lead, which sadly they were never to surrender. By now the away side had started to run the ball at every opportunity and Oldham’s flank seemed over exposed and on twenty minutes Bury took advantage and scored an unconverted try to stretch the score to 5 -12. Bury continued to run the ball and showed good off load skills to keep the ball alive, had it not been for a few knock ons from the Bury second row the score could already have been out of sight. Bury managed three more unconverted tries before half time to leave a score of Oldham 5 - 27 Bury.
Regrettably the second period began much as the first had ended and fifteen minutes into the half they had racked up another three tries and two conversions and with the score now standing at 5 - 46 Oldham seemed on the ropes. The game began to get a bit niggly and the referee, who struggled to impose himself on the game, was in danger of loosing control. At last - on seventy minutes Oldham had a good attacking scrum in a promising position, the ball went through several pairs of hands before Lewis Bullen dived over in the corner. Bury replied with a converted try before Dave Ashton stretched impossibly for an interception pass to race over for Oldham’s third try. Bury scored two more to leave a final score of Oldham 15 - 70 Bury.
It was a scrappy game for Oldham but individually they didn’t stop trying right up to the final whistle. Alan Piere was outstanding as was captain Matt Jakeman and scrum half Jon Maslen. With a little more organisation out wide Oldham will stem the tide. The man of the match award was shared between the centre pairing of Barry Wardle and Charlie Maslen for their non stop efforts both in defence and attack.
Report by Stephen Ingham