A SEASON of missed opportunities and mutterings of ‘if only’ petered out to a disappointing end in a one-sided 47-0 defeat at Bradford Bulls in a Betfred League 1 play-off semi-final.
It was one game too far for Roughyeds who were minus the suspended Danny Bridge, Luke Nelmes, Ben Davies and Luke Hooley and had two more sin-binned in the second half at Odsal.
Lee Kershaw was given a yellow card for kicking the ball away in frustration after a Dane Chisholm 40/20 and he hadn’t been back long when club captain Gareth Owen was also ‘binned’ for a high tackle.
Bradford forward Ross Peltier suffered a similar fate for running in and sparking a lot of pushing and shoving by both sets of players.
Cards for the Oldham pair didn’t change the game or the result (Bulls already led 21-0 when Kershaw went) but they certainly impacted on the score, the home side running in 22 points while Oldham’s on-loan winger from Wakefield Trinity was taking his enforced breather.
Roughyeds were competitive and very much in the game for the first 25 minutes or more, but they then started to err and give penalties away, as often happens when a side is under pressure, and the Bulls started to gradually lull away.
To be in arrears 13-0 at half-time wouldn’t have been too bad, but as the interval hooter sounded strong-man Peltier took three defenders over the line with him and Joe Keyes kicked the goal for a 19-0 interval lead.
A minute into the new half Roughyeds were penalised for the fourth time in a row and Keyes goaled again for a 21-0 lead.
Shortly after that Kershaw got his card, the floodgates opened as Bulls cleverly exploited the vacant space on Oldham’s left flank, and the game rapidly ran away from the visitors.
Elliot Minchella grabbed a brace of tries, while Jy Hitchcox and Ethan Ryan, the two Bulls wingers, also got in on the act.
Roughyeds had men held up over the Bulls line on four separate occasions, most notably when Kershaw plucked a Dave Hewitt kick out of the air and looked a certain scorer until the home defence closed in.
The Bulls defence was full of vim and vigour to twice halt Paul Crook when in touching distance, and on another occasion Phil Joy looked sure to score until he lost his grip on the ball going in.
Bradford’s points came from tries by Ryan (2), Keyes, Peltier, Minchella (2), Hitchcox and Gibson; seven goals by Keyes; and a Chisholm drop goal.
BULLS: McNally; Hitchcox, Gibson, Egodo, Ryan; Keyes, Chisholm; Kirk, Lilley, Crossley, Storton, Minchella, Wood. Subs: Peltier, Flanagan, Green, Garsie.
OLDHAM: Johnson, Eccleston, McComb, Reid, Kershaw; Crook, Hewitt; Joy, Owen, Neal, Briscoe, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Spencer, Hughes, Wilkinson, Jones.
Ref; Jack Smith