LEWIS Palfrey and Liam Thompson both reflected on dressing-room unity as Oldham celebrated their exciting 21-20 triumph against Sheffield’s full-time professionals.
Easter defeats by Halifax and Swinton Lions required straight talking behind the scenes, producing an amazing turnaround in form which produced wins against Batley Bulldogs and a Sheffield side which put 46 points on Bradford Bulls in their previous game.
Coach Scott Naylor was down to his only available 17 players for the Batley game, but their 28-12 triumph earned them the right to go again against Sheffield.
Naylor chose to stick with an unchanged 17, although players of the calibre of Danny Grimshaw and Danny Langtree were fit and available for selection.
After this latest victory, which lifted Naylor’s men up one place to ninth in the Championship table, club captain Palfrey said: “It was tough losing at Workington and then against Halifax and Swinton over Easter.
“A lot of questions were asked of us, quite rightly, but we all stuck together as a squad because we believe in each other and in the men who are leading us.
“We know there’s enough talent in our group for us to do okay in this division and the last two results have proved that.”
Man-of-the-match Thompson, like Palfrey one of Naylor’s 2013 ‘originals’, said victory over Sheffield could be ranked as the best win in his three and a half seasons at Oldham.
He added: “All the lads deserve great credit for the way we’ve come back from a few losses to turn it round by beating Batley and Sheffield. Effort in both games was first class.
“We’ve produced our two best performances of the season and we have to kick on from here now and see where it takes us.”
Chairman Chris Hamilton said: “For the second game in a row our lads produced a fantastic effort. It was a massive result for us , especially coming from 12-0 down against full-time professionals.
“I couldn’t believe that Sheffield didn’t go for an equalising drop goal when they had the opportunity near the end, but to beat one of the four full-time teams in this division is a huge feather in our cap.”
Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, the club’s office at Whitebank was NOT open today for the sale of tickets for Saturday’s cup-tie at Hull KR and the Summer Bash clash with Swinton at Blackpool at the end of May.
The club apologises for this late change in ticketing plans, reaffirming that the office will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 9.30am to 1.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday, to 3pm on Wednesday and to 4pm on Friday.
The funeral service for Oldham’s star winger of the 1950s, Dick Cracknell, will be at Huddersfield Crematorium on Tuesday, April 19 at 11.15am.