ON-LOAN winger Harry Aaronson scored his first two tries in the colours of his home-town team as Oldham got their promotion push back on track with a 28-4 win against Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium.
The 21-year-old England Universities back, who played for the Cougars in 2018 and is now back at Swinton Lions, had a Fathers’ Day he won’t forget in a hurry, not only scoring twice — the first from out of his own half — but also winning the club’s Magic Moment award.
It could have gone to Paul Crook for his superb, try-saving cover tackle on Cougars left-winger Alfie Seeley in the second half, but Aaronson edged it for his solo try from dummy half in midfield and then producing genuine pace over distance to score under the posts.
The former Saddleworth Rangers youngster’s second try was more conventional. Ritchie Hawkyard went close under the sticks before Jamie Greenwood moved well from dummy half and man-of-the-match Danny Langtree sent Aaronson in at the corner with the sweetest of cut-out passes.
‘Langers’ had a blinder on attack and defence, especially on defence, and fully deserved his top-gun billing.
It says much for his all-round contribution that he should score the first of Oldham’s five tries and send in Aaronson for the last yet still be best remembered on this occasion for crucial tackles when Cougars were at their most dangerous.
“We had to defend well because Keighley threw a lot at us. Credit to them for that. As far as we are concerned every game will be like a cup final from now on,”
Added Aaronson, who’s studying social politics at the University of Leeds:
“Keighley moved the ball around from wing to wing, but we kept them scoreless until seconds from the end, literally.
“It will be tough up at Workington next week, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Oldham opened the scoring after 16 minutes when first Scott Law and then ‘Langers’ employed quick hands to release Zack McComb on the right.
The centre’s speculative inside pass found Gareth Owen tracking up the middle and Langtree was his beneficiary, taking his pass to cross for a try which Crook converted from off the touchline.
Four minutes later Roughyeds were in again, Anthony Bowman scoring in the corner off a Dave Hewitt chip to the left-hand corner flag.
The first Aaronson try came next with Crook’s conversion giving Roughyeds a 16-0 interval lead.
Danny Bridge’s strong surge for the line paved the way for Bowman’s second try out wide on the left and a 22-0 lead but the Cougars never lost their enthusiasm and their appetite for the challenge with the result that Roughyeds had a lot of defending to do — and didn’t they do it well?
They were rewarded with a grand try in the corner by Aaronson which Crook goaled brilliantly off the right-hand touchline for a 28-0 lead.
Roughyeds had defended so stoutly throughout the game, often holding out against back-to-back Keighley sets, that they looked certain to ‘nil’ the visitors.
Three penalties in a row, however, gave the Yorkshiremen the heart to push on regardless and as the hooter sounded they found enough space down Oldham’s right side for Jason Muranka to show surprising speed for a prop to go in at the corner.
Scorers: Oldham — goals, Crook 4/5; tries, Langtree (16), Bowman (20, 50), Aaronson (26, 67). Keighley — try, Muranka (80).
OLDHAM: Hawkyard; Aaronson, McComb, Bowman, Maders; Crook, Hewitt; Law, Owen, Spencer, Bridge, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Gregson, Davies, Whittel, Gregson.
KEIGHLEY: Welham; Dixon, Sheriffe, Hallet, Seeley; Aitchinson, Miller; Bailey, Cullimore, Muranka, Horn, Parker, Feather. Subs: Coventry, Thackray, Wray, Wright.
Referee: Kevin Moore; Att: 591.