TO beat a team of full-time professionals in Sheffield Eagles, only a week after reaching a high level of performance to see off Batley Bulldogs, was an awesome achievement, said upbeat Oldham boss Scott Naylor.
A late drop goal by Lewis Palfrey gave Roughyeds a 21-20 win to follow up their 28-12 win against the Bulldogs.
Liam Johnson, Michael Ward and Kenny Hughes scored Oldham tries, with Palfrey landing four goals from four shots and then adding the decisive one-pointer.
Naylor’s Championship new boys have now beaten Dewsbury Rams, Batley Bulldogs and Sheffield Eagles at Bower Fold, including back-to-back wins against the Bulldogs and the Eagles.
Said Naylor: “I know from my own playing days how difficult it is to string together two performances like that on successive weekends.
“It tells me that the boys are very strong mentally and very fit physically. Their self-belief and confidence to do well at this level is growing. As we saw in League One last year, winning can become a habit and its nice to see the boys starting to be rewarded for all their hard work and commitment.
“This was another absolutely outstanding performance from 1 to 17. Every player gave 100 per cent from start to finish on behalf of the club and our supporters. That’s how we beat a well-coached team of full-time professionals.
“They train during the day while my lads are at work, so to live with them for most of the game and then to pip them at the post and pick up the points shows that what we are doing at Oldham must be on the right lines.
“The boys can take terrific credit for the way they are playing, not least the way they handled things when it was nip and tuck in the last few minutes.
“It’s a long time since we’been tested in a situation like that, but we remained calm, we didn’t panic, the half-backs took control and we looked all the world like a leading Championship side.”
Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “Anyone who didn’t know, would have been hard pressed to tell which team was full-time.
“It was a fantastic effort by our boys and to hit back from 12-0 down with 18 unanswered points says a lot about what they’re made of.”