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Hunslet rally to win with late surge

OLDHAM let slip a 16-6 lead midway through the second half to suffer their third defeat in five Betfred League 1 outings.

Opponents Hunslet, from south Leeds, looked well out of it at that stage and they could easily have gone 22-6 in arrears, Craig Briscoe having an effort under the posts ruled out for allegedly losing the ball in the act of touching down,

They rallied from that, scored three converted tries in 15 minutes of madness for Oldham, and ran out fully deserving 24-16 victors.

They were the better side overall, scoring four tries to Oldham’s three and completely dominating the last 20 minutes to score converted tries by Duane Straugher, Niall Walker and Jack Blagbrough.

Scott Naylor’s men fell away badly after the ‘no try’ ruling against Briscoe, while Hunslet were lifted by it and went on to take the game by the scruff of the neck thanks to their lively half-backs Joe Sanderson and Cain Southernwood, a strong-running left winger in Walker and a big pack in which Straugher, Blagbrough and Lewis Reed were outstanding.

There was little sign of what was to come when Roughyeds went 12-0 up with tries either side of half-time by Dave Hewitt and Danny Langtree, both improved by Paul Crook.

On half an hour Gareth Owen took the field for the first time since he damaged a foot ten months ago and he was quickly into his stride from dummy half. Briscoe went close on a strong drive and Owen moved well from dummy half before feeding Hewitt, who shaped to go left, moved inside instead and went behind the posts.

Paul Crook added the goal and Oldham went in at half-time with a 6-0 lead which was quickly doubled on the resumption when Briscoe again tested the visitors goal-line defence before Crook chipped and Langtree won the touchdown race.

Oldham continued to press forward but for the second game in a row they were undone because they failed to nullify their opponents full-back, whose break on the counter-attack led to Hunslet’s opening try.

Last week it was Greg McNally at Bradford, this time it was Jimmy Watson.He raced straight through Oldham’s defensive line and from that strong position Southernwood kicked for the far corner and Walker took the high ball on the full at speed to score at the flag. Sanderson goaled, game on.

It soon looked to be ebbing away from Hunslet when Hewitt backed up at speed to score his second try after good work by Owen and Adam Jones.

Crook’s conversion attempt hit a post and bounced out, but Roughyeds still had opportunities to put the game to bed before the visitors began their quest for glory.

They pulled back to 16-12 with the Straughan try, goaled by Sanderson, and five minutes later they took the lead for the first time with the best try of the game — a real beauty in which Joshua Jordan-Roberts, son of ‘Two Bobs’, unleashed winger Walker at half way.

He went on the outside of home full-back Kyran Johnson, pushed him away and scored a length-of-the-field stunner, which Sanderson converted for an 18-16 lead.

Oldham had their moments when trailing only 16-18 but Hunslet made the game safe with a strong try by prop Jack Blagbrough and Sanderson’s conversion.

OLDHAM: Johnson, Eccleston, Holmes, Reid, Nield; Crook, Hewitt; Joy, Wilkinson, Neal, Bridge, Langtree, Spencer. Subs: Owen, Jones, Briscoe, Nelmes.

HUNSLET: Watson; Foggin-Johnstone, Cowling, Ashton, Walker, Sanderson, Southernwood; Nicholson, Lee, Blagbrough, Jordan-Roberts, Straugher, Mackay. Subs: Halmshaw, Chandler, Reed, Coventry.

Ref: Marcus Griffiths; Att: 544.

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AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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