LEE Spencer (assistant coach) described it as a kick “that will never be repeated in the memory of man.”
Adam Clay, who put boot to ball while being pushed into touch at Dewsbury, said his 40-20 from an almost impossible angle and at the height of Oldham’s remarkable fightback, was instinctive and “a spur of the moment” reaction to finding himself in a tight corner.
Like a golfer willing his drive to stay out of the rough, Clay leaned inwards as the ball soared high towards the Rams’ end of the pitch, desperate that it wouldn’t go out of play on the full. To make it count it needed to bounce and then go into touch within 20 metres of the Rams’ try line.
It bounced high and turned at nearly 90 degrees, as only an oval ball would, to go out of play and earn Roughyeds possession deep in enemy territory.
In the next set George Tyson scored, Scott Leatherbarrow kicked the goal and Oldham were only 24-22 down on their way to a 28-24 victory.
With a twinkle in his eye and speaking for the first time about the kick that has taken Roughyeds’ twitter feeds by storm this week, right-winger Clay said: “Did I mean it ? Course. I opted for the 40-20 instead of a grubber kick up the touchline for me to chase.”
Then: “Seriously, it was a spur of the moment thing. We were under pressure in our own danger zone when I picked up a loose ball near touch. They were on to me immediately so my only option was to put my foot through it and get the ball downfield.
“Something went our way for a change when it bounced into touch. But I wasn’t going to admit to the rest of the lads that it could have gone anywhere.
“It’s been a big talking point in training this week and it’s only outside the dressing room that I admit there was an element of luck about it.
“Inside, it was intentional — and I won’t let the rest of them forget it for a long time.”
As a boy, Clay was a young footballer at Maine Road in Manchester City’s Joe Royle era.
He added: “It’s a different shaped ball for me these days, but you never lose it. I can still belt it when I have to. When Joe let me go it was the biggest mistake he ever made.”
The Roughyeds’ limited-edition shirts, replicas of those which are sponsored by TLH Auctioneers of Chadderton and which will be worn only once at Summer Bash, can be purchased by fans for £45 if they order and pay within the next seven days.
After the Summer Bash derby against Rochdale at Blackpool on Saturday, May 27, each of the players’ jerseys will be signed and auctioned off with receipts split between the club’s Community Trust and Maggie’s Oldham, the cancer support centre that will open next month.