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Thrilling fightback falls just short

AFTER a narrow defeat at Doncaster (26-22), Oldham are hanging on to a play-off spot in Betfred League 1 by the skin of their teeth or, to be more precise, by their superior for-and-against difference.

They’ve dropped from third to fifth on 24 points — level with Doncaster and Hunslet but higher in the placings thanks to a scoring and defending difference that’s worth an extra point.

Workington and Whitehaven have gone above them and after their third away defeat in a row — and none by more than seven points — Roughyeds are caught up in a qualification nail-biter that’s going to go down to the wire.

Assuming Bradford or York will fill one of the four spots it leaves the other three to be hotly contested by Workington, Whitehaven, Oldham, Doncaster and Hunslet, all split by only two points.

With seven rounds to go every game will have the intensity of a cup final and this hard-fought, all-action gladiatorial encounter was no exception.

It was a real bruiser — an arm-wrestle until early in the second half when Doncaster responded the stronger to the sin-binning of Danny Langtree and Jordie Hedges.
Hedges didn’t like Langtree’s tackle in which the ball ran loose and Oldham were awarded head and feed.

In what was to prove a pivotal moment, with the home side leading 8-6, the two players squared up.

Out came the yellow card for both of them, but worse still the penalty went to Doncaster and in the very next set Jordan Howden’s chip into the in-goal was pounced on by man-of-the-match Brad England for the home side’s second try.

In the next 20 minutes Oldham looked shell-shocked whereas The Dons soared in confidence and stature to score further unanswered tries by Aaron Jones-Bishop and on-loan centre Jack Logan.

Young Oldham full-back Luke Hooley was subjected to some thundering big hits, especially after he was hurt in one such tackle but carried on bravely after treatment.
Shortly afterwards Jez Litten’s harmless-looking speculative kick downfield caught Hooley out when winger Jones-Bishop flew in to score as the Oldham full-back appeared to be thinking the ball was running dead.

Another soft try was conceded when a Paul Crook grubber at the Doncaster end ricocheted straight into the hands of Logan who broke away and covered nearly the full length of the pitch to give Richard Horne’s men what everybody in the ground thought would be an unassailable 26-6 lead.

Oldham kept battling, however, and they visibly soared in self-belief when talisman Langtree crossed on Gareth Owen’s pass with 11 minutes still to go.
Hooley added the angled goal — 12-26 — and then Dave Hewitt’s high cross-kick to the corner was plucked out of the air by Matt Reid. Hewitt goaled off the touchline this time: 18-26.

Playing at half-back, and with time running out fast and nothing to lose, Owen kicked over the home side’s defensive wall.

The Dons fumbled, Owen retrieved possession and fed Zack McComb, who put Dave Eccleston in to make it 22-26.

Hooley’s goal attempt passed narrowly wide and with only four minutes left The Dons held on to record their third win in a row.

Scorers:

Doncaster — goals, Beharrell 5/6; tries, Doherty, England, Jones-Bishop, Logan.
Oldham — goals, Crook 3/3, Hooley 1/2, Hewitt 1/1; tries, Langtree, Reid, Eccleston.

Doncaster: Miloudi (DR); Doherty, Logan, Tali, Jones-Bishop; Howden, Beharrell; Scott, Kesik, Boyle, England, Mariano, Downs (DR); subs: Osborne (DR), Martin, Hedges, Litten (DR).
Oldham: Hooley; Eccleston, McComb, Reid, Kershaw; Crook, Hewitt; Joy, Owen, Spencer, Briscoe, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Wilkinson, Nelmes, Davies, Rasool.

Ref: Andy Sweet Att: 647.

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Club Cash

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

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