The weather in the days leading up to the game had put the home fixture into some doubt, and numerous other fixtures were being cancelled at the weekend due to waterlogged pitches. However the Knott Lanes pitch had held up remarkably well, and by the Saturday afternoon the pitch was heavy but playable, so it was game on for the 3rds against a rival always worth beating for pride, particularly since they put out a second team against Oldham 3rds last season at Broughton Park. Weather on the afternoon was very cold and windy, but the rain and sleet from earlier in the day held off, and conditions were reasonable.
The match looked from the start like it was going to be a close affair. Broughton Park looked to have some quality players who would like to play an expansive game, but the pitch didn’t allow them to capitalise on their pace advantage, and the game became a typical 3rds rumble. The Oldham pack were always under pressure in the scrum and lineout, but retained their possession well and competed hard with the opposition. The first ten minutes were a tug of war, but after eleven minutes Broughton Park scored their first try and converted it. However they were not able to pull away as Oldham were always in the game, and in the twenty ninth minute Oldham replied with a reward for a number of phases of pressure in the Broughton Park red zone, finished off under the posts by Alan Pierre.
In the second half, everything was to play for, but Broughton Park had the edge for most of the half. Much of this advantage came from the scrum and lineout, and Broughton Park also drove Oldham backwards in a number of mauls, meaning Oldham were having to work hard for their territory. There were three unconverted tries for Broughton Park in the 11th, 19th and 38th minutes of the second half, but Oldham had the final word with a try after forty two minutes scored by Ainsley Brookes after a number of pick and gos. The try should have been the end of the game, but dissent from Broughton Park after it was awarded resulted in Oldham being awarded a penalty re-start. This was kicked into the Broughton twenty two, and the Oldham chase and challenge resulted in a disagreement between the two sides with some handbags coming to bear, so the Referee blew the whistle at that point and all were friends again. The final score was 10-22.
The result was a fair one, but Oldham had put up a good challenge and were proud of the effort they had put in. Man of the match went to Bruno Oliver for a great performance throughout the game.