DANNY Langtree was back to show Roughyeds fans what they had been missing in recent narrow defeats by Hunslet, Workington and Keighley Cougars.
The strong-running second-row forward marked his sensational return after injury with a hat-trick in the first 14 minutes of Sunday’s home game against North Wales Crusaders, followed by his fourth try early in the second half.
And that wasn’t all. He tormented Crusaders all afternoon with his tackle-busting running and his fearless tackling before, worryingly for everyone of a Roughyeds’ persuasion, he seemed to pick up a rib injury just before the end.
Nevertheless, nothing could dampen the upbeat mood of players, coaching staff and fans alike after this 50-6 victory which cemented the Roughyeds in third place in Betfred League 1 and earned them the best defensive record in the entire division.
There was no shortage of talking points . . . like the brilliance of Langtree; the reputation Roughyeds are building as defenders of the faith; and the red card for coach Scott Naylor, who was banished from the touchline for questioning referee Michael Mannifield’s decision to award Crusaders a penalty in the 27th minute.
He watched the rest of the match from up in the stand and while it wasn’t a perfect performance it was good enough to send nearly 500 fans home happy in the belief that Roughyeds have turned the corner and are back on the track signposted ‘Play offs this way’.
Even the crowd was significantly better than the last one, 466 compared with 274, so there were plenty of reasons for Naylor to describe it as “a good day at the office.”
The forwards, as a unit, were in sizzling form with big performances from Jack Spencer, Langtree, Luke Nelmes and Jonah Cunningham especially.
Hooker Cunningham scored two tries from dummy-half and was like lightning in jumping out from behind the play-the-ball.
Nelmes made numerous carries through the heart of the Crusaders ‘middles’ to put the home side on the front foot. He did it again . . . and again . . . and again.
Half-backs Paul Crook and Dave Hewitt set up Langtree’s first two tries and then he went in for his third on 14 minutes when he intercepted at half-way and had the legs to go the distance.
Briefly, Crusaders got back into the game with a converted try by Jack Houghton, but normal business was quickly back in harness when Nelmes crashed over and Crook landed the goal for a 24-6 half-time lead.
Oldham’s domination of proceedings continued in the second half.
Having scored four tries first-half, Scott’s men added five more by Cunningham (2), Langtree, Matt Reid and Phil Joy with Paul Crook finishing with seven conversions overall from nine shots.
It was, indeed, a good day at the office.
Oldham scorers: goals, Crook 7/9; tries, Langtree (4), Nelmes, Cunningham (2), Reid and Joy.
Team: Hooley; Eccleston, McComb, Reid, Kershaw; Crook, Hewitt; Joy, Owen, Spencer, Langtree, Bridge, Bent. Subs: Cunningham, Gregson, Nelmes, Briscoe.
Ref: Mr Michael Minnifield; Att: 466.