TRIES by Danny Langtree, Ben West, Matt Reid and Paul Crook provided magical moments on a special night for the Oldham club and its supporters at the MBi Shay Stadium in Halifax.
The Roughyeds fully deserved their 27-6 triumph in the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and with it a home tie against Super League outfit Hull KR in the fifth round, details of which will be announced in due course.
There was an element of good fortune about the third of our four tries by Reid, but over the 80 minutes Roughyeds were generally well in control of proceedings as they became the third Betfred League 1 side to progress to round five at the expense of Championship opposition.
As Scott Naylor pointed out afterwards, it was a 17-man performance in which plaudits had to be equally shared by all.
In a few words, the forwards ran and tackled harder than Halifax and provided the platform on which David Hewitt and Paul Crook kicked Fax to death.
The chase was as good as the kick and if the ball didn’t find touch Fax were regularly pinned down in their own quarter.
Livewire halfback Ben Johnston was a Halifax threat in the early part of the game, but once the Roughyeds forwards mastered their opposite numbers his running chances were limited and the big threat faded.
Fax should perhaps have made more of all the penalties they were awarded, but the fact that they didn’t speaks volumes for the energy and determination Roughyeds put into their defensive work from start to finish.
It was quite exemplary — a huge achievement in fact to restrict a side like Halifax, on their own patch, to one solitary try scored by Ben Heaton 16 minutes into the second half.
Roughyeds had just gone down to 12 men following a yellow card for Joe Martin for a clumsy-looking challenge.
They were still a man short when they hit back with the Reid try which was goaled beautifully off the left-hand touchline by Crook to restore the visitors’ 14 point lead.
They led 12-0 at half-time with tries by Langers and West and two goals by Crook — a conversion and a penalty.
His second penalty early in the second half stretched the lead to 14-0 and although Heaton went in for his customary try against his former club, Roughyeds clinched their win on a wet sail with further tries by Reid and Crook, two more Crook conversions and a Hewitt drop goal.
There were several candidates for man of the match but the general consensus of opinion in the Fax camp was that Hewitt was the individual who had done most to upset their applecart with his first-class kicking game.
No matter. ‘Chewy’ would be the first to agree that this was a first-class team performance on which to build for Sunday’s game against North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham.
Scorers: Halifax — try, Heaton; goal, Tyrer; Oldham — tries, Langtree, West, Reid, Crook; goals, Crook 5/6; drop goal, Hewitt.
HALIFAX: Woodburn-Hall; Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, McGrath; Brook, Johnston; Morris, Kaye, Fleming, Calcott, Butler, Barber. Subs: Douglas, Jones, Moore, Davies.
OLDHAM: Martin; Eccleston, McComb, Reid, West; Crook, Hewitt; Spencer, Wilkinson, Neal, Bridge, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Briscoe, Hughes, Rasool, Nelmes.
Ref: Billy Pearson; Att: 688.