BEATEN 32-30 by Workington Town at Bower Fold, we finished the 23-match regular season in the Championship three places off the bottom with Workington and Whitehaven beneath us.
Each side scored five tries and five conversions but Town had an extra two points from a 30th-minute penalty which gave them their narrow margin margin.
Richard Lepori, Gareth Owen, Michael Ward and Kenny Hughes (2) scored Oldham’s tries with Dave Hewitt landing the goals.
What they said . . .
We got what we deserved because we played dumb rugby. It was a huge game in our season and we didn’t perform.
To score 30 points at home in a massive game, and still lose, shows that you haven’t turned up defensively.
We let in some soft tries and that’s a pity going into the play-offs. They put a lot of pressure on us with Jarrod Sammut’s kicking game. They played the game the right way: Not many penalties conceded and lots of hard work.
We’re still three points in front of both Cumbrian clubs but we’ve given ourselves a lot of work to do now.
We twice got into a commanding position to win — 20-6 and 32-18 — and then nearly let it slip. But I can’t fault the desire and attitude of my players, especially as we had to reshuffle our back line when I lost both wingers to injury.
We played much of the game with the centres on the wings and with a couple of others, Gee and Olstrum, playing out of position in the centres. With ten minutes left, when Oldham were throwing everything at us, we had used up all our subs.
We showed a lot of pride and passion. We dominated the first half; Oldham were on top in the second . But I thought their second try was offside. After half time they upped the tempo. We had a simple game plan, based on what we knew of Oldham and what we could glean from video.
They have some smart dummy-half workers who caused us problems, but we got there in the end.
The win takes us off bottom in the division and above Whitehaven, which is a start. We’ve still a lot of games which need to be won, but we’ve given ourselves a fighting chance of staying in this division.”