Oldham 3rds came to this game on the back of a great cup win at home the previous week against Lymm 3rds, and with a full strength side again, Oldham were looking forward to a closely fought battle. Oldham elected to play on the Knott Lane pitch which suited their game better, even though firsts and seconds were not at home this weekend.
As often happens, Oldham made a poor start to the game. Oldham's defence was looking thin, with gaps appearing and missed tackles, and after only a few minutes Burnley broke through for their first try, which they converted. Oldham, not in an unfamiliar position, put the early try behind them and restarted the game as if nil-nil. The Oldham forwards showed superior strength in going forward with a series of short run and sets, and the pressure began to tell as Burnley gave away a penalty in front of their posts. This was kicked by Chris Brown to open Oldham's account. The game was much closer from then, and then after further pressure in Burnley's half a few minutes later, Nick McDowell put in a great weaving run off the back of a ruck, beating three Burnley defenders to put Oldham's first try on the board. This was converted by Chris Brown.
Oldham had found their confidence by this point, and Burnley were on the back foot. Although Burnley had a number of attacks, they were not able to finish them productively. This was not the case with Oldham. Twenty minutes into the half, Oldham's forwards again drove forward from ruck to maul to ruck, and just in front of the Burnley try line the ball was popped up to Kev Golland who carried it over for Oldham's second try, which was converted by Chris Brown. Burnley were struggling to contain Oldham by this time, and two more tries were scored in the first half, one from Eddie Klieve which was converted by Chris Brown, and a second try from Kev Golland.
Half time score was 29-7.
In the second half, Burnley were stronger and more determined, and the only scores in the second half were from Burnley. Oldham became frustrated in defence, and Chris Brown was sin binned for killing the ball at the breakdown. Burnley scored two tries, one of which was converted, but not enough to catch Oldham's first half total. Oldham took a great win, their first league win of the season.
Final Score: Oldham 29 v Burnley 19
Man of the Match went to Nick McDowell, who once again showed great consistency and work rate, and scored the best try of the game. Matt Finn also had a great game in his first season, showing great development in a short time. Oldham 3rds are now looking forward to next week's game, away at Aldwinians, which always promises to be a great match.