DESCRIBING a win which cements Oldham’s place in the KP Championship next season as “an absolutely amazing result for the future development of the club”, Scott Naylor paid tribute to the players who pulled it off.
He said: “There were a few who had knocks and shouldn’t really have been playing, but they got through and played well for the club and for the fans.
“Everybody worked hard, tried hard, showed the right attitude and got stuck in.
“In a game like this, with so much riding on it, the only thing that mattered was the result and we got over the line to reach our season-long goal.
“I want to thank every player who has worn the Oldham jersey this season. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve played once or 30 times, there are a lot who have contributed over a long season and some may even have moved on.
“The dual-reg boys from Huddersfield Giants also deserve a slap on the back.
“As coaches, ‘Spanner’, Peter Carey and I can only do so much. It’s the players who have to produce on the field and I have to say that, over the course of a full season, they have demonstrated what it means to them to keep this club in the Championship.
“I was a bit nervous when Haven pulled it back to 20-18 with roughly a quarter of the game still to go, but the boys dug deep and got us over the line.
“With a little bit more composure near their line we would have scored a few more points and it wouldn’t have been so tight at the end.
“We can look forward to the new season now and we need to start planning immediately on a whole variety of fronts so that we are no
longer ever again in the position we found ourselves before this game.
“On a different theme, I find it a crying shame that the two Cumbrian clubs, both of them steeped in history and tradition, are going to be leaving this division.
“As a sport we should be helping clubs like that to grow and develop in an effort to get back to where I think they should be.”
Acting coach Scott McAvoy said Whitehaven were out on their feet at half-time.
He added: “Oldham are a good side. They sapped the energy out of us in the first half so to do what we did in the second half was a commendable effort.
“When we pulled back to 20-18 I thought we were in with a chance because our side has players who, given half a chance, can score from anywhere on the field.
“It wasn’t to be so credit Oldham with that because their defensive work was very good.”