This was always going to be a pressure game as it was the first game for the 3rds in the new league they'd been promoted into, and they were only going to be travelling with fifteen players. However on the day only thirteen turned up to play, meaning that Oldham were likely to be on the back foot from the start.
On the pitch though, Oldham were competitive from the start. They worked hard in all areas and there was no advantage gained in play by Ashton on Mersey. However eventually they took advantage of the extra man through an overlap and scored the first try which they converted. In reply, Oldham forced them back into their own twenty two, and a try was scored by Kev Golland, although this was disallowed as the Referee judged a double movement. Oldham had their heads up after this and continued to battle well with all thirteen men putting in good tackles and matching Ashton in the scrum and lineout, but again Ashton used their overlap well and scored a second try which they converted. Oldham knew they were not beaten though, and after a scrum near Ashton's ten metre line Craig Gedes ran round the short side and beat two Ashton players to score Oldham's first try of the season. This was converted by Chris Brown.
The half time score was Ashton 14 - Oldham 7.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, with a very close game throughout. Ashton again made very good use of their extra man through overlapping, and scored another two tries, one of which was converted. Oldham's only score in response was a penalty kicked by Chris Brown just before full time.
Final score Ashton on Mersey 2nds 26 v Oldham 3rds 10
Regardless of the loss, Oldham were pleased with their performance and are looking forward to going out with a full strength side over the rest of the season and making a mark in the new league.
There were many good individual performances in the game, especially from Craig Gedes and Ben Arthur, and Man of the Match went to Ben Arthur for his consistent effort and work rate throughout the game.