AN inspirational second-half fightback earned Oldham a vital 28-24 win against Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Scott Naylor’s boys started well and took an early 6-0 lead with a try under the sticks by Adam Neal on a flat pass from dummy half by Kenny Hughes. Scott Leatherbarrow added the extras.
Dewsbury won the toss and played down the slight gradient with a fierce wind in their favour.
Roughyeds then went through an awful spell in which the Rams rattled up 18 points in about ten minutes. It all started when the visitors let Paul Sykes’s restart kick after the Neal try bounce,
Joe Burke eventually got to it but by this time he was on the back foot near Oldham’s try line and he was pushed back over the line for a drop out.
It was a key incident because Rams capitalised on some weak and sloppy play by the visitors to score 18 points in next to no time with tries by Andy Kain, Robbie Ward and Paul Sykes, all converted by Sykes.
Oldham needed a try before half-time to get back into the game, but it went the other way when James Glover made a break down our left side and scored under the posts. Sykes goaled and Rams led 24-6 at the break.
Time for some heart-to-heart chat in the Roughyeds dressing room . . . and what a difference that made in the second half !
Roughyeds turned the game on its head and rattled up 22 unanswered points with second-half tries by Michael Ward, Keiran Gill, George Tyson and Joe Burke and three conversions by Leatherbarrow.
Ward’s try sparked the fightback — an unusual one in which he managed to touch down while three defenders were trying to hold him up and usher him over the dead-ball line.
Gill had an overlap in which to score unopposed in the corner, then Tyson used his strength to score on the other side of the field.
Oldham’s joy was complete when, with a few minutes left, Leatherbarrow made an outside break from first receiver and then cut back inside to put the supporting Burke under the posts.
Leatherbarrow’s goal gave Roughyeds a 28-24 lead and they then hung on to achieve their first away win of the season
and their first win away from Bower Fold since August last year when they won at Swinton in the Shield.
Rams: tries, Kain, Ward, Sykes, Glover; goals, Sykes 4/4.
Roughyeds: tries: Neal, Ward, Gill, Tyson, Burke; goals, Leatherbarrow 4/5.
Rams: Guzdek; Alex Brown, Sykes, Crookes, Morton; Speakman, Kain; Stringer, Ward, Teanby, T Adamson, L Adamson, Aaron Brown. Subs: Day, Douglas, Glover, Sheriffe.
Oldham: Turner; Clay, Tyson, Gill, Lepori; Leathrbarrow, Hewitt; Neal, Hughes, Burke, Wood, Langtree, Spencer. Subs: Owen, Ward, Bent, Gee.
Referee: Tom Crashley; Attendance: 691.