Oldham 3rds welcomed Preston Grasshoppers to Manor Park this week.
The 3rds have had a very unsettled team this season and today was no different with the side being made up of Vets, Colts and any other stays that were available, but it was a good balance of experience and youth.
The game got underway and it was clear that Preston were strong and very well drilled. They dominated for the first 15 minutes with them scoring 3 tries and converting 2 of them.
Oldham 3rds reshuffled their formation and this started to work as they held Preston back and started coming into the game. Wayne Hadfield running well from the back and the forwards battling like crazy up front, every player getting involved and showing their worth. Oldham started to get the upper hand and just before half time this paid dividends after the pack set up the play on Preston's 5 yard line the ball came to the backs and Hadfield joined the line, grubber kicked the ball through and went over to touch down.
The half ended 19 5 to Preston but Oldham were doing great.
The second half got under way and some superb skills from a well drilled Preston team kept Oldham on the back foot but Dom Hall, big Matt Burgess and Jack Taylor amongst others took the ball time after time and turned the tables on Preston. After a long spell of possession Oldham went over for their second try finished off by Taylor who darted through a narrow gap to score and then Hadfield got his second after the forwards again made space for him to run straight through the middle of the Preston defence. Danny Simpson converted.
The game was on a knifes edge and could have gone either way but Preston managed to break the Oldham defence with just seconds left to score a try. this was the deciding score as the referee blew for full time moments later.
Final Score: Oldham 3rds 17 v Preston Grasshoppers 4ths 24
A great effort from Oldham against a very good Preston team. Wayne Clarke did really well coming on as prop and good games from Burgess, Hall and Hadfield but Man of the Match went to Jack Taylor whose pace off the scrum and to the loose ball was superb.