OLDHAM climbed to second place in Betfred League 1 on the back of their sixth win in seven league outings.
That’s promotion form — and although Sunday’s 56-6 home canter against West Wales Raiders wasn’t the best or the most attractive of the five that immediately preceded it you have to acknowledge that Roughyeds are on the right lines.
They don’t have the biggest squad but the 11 tries they scored against a Cosmopolitan ‘Welsh’ side that included a Fijian, a Frenchman, an Italian, seven English lads and, yes, seven from the Principality, were achieved by a side that was minus players of the calibre of Kyran Johnson, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Ritchie Hawkyard, Ben Calland, Jack Spencer, Ben Davies, Liam Bent and Anthony Bowman.
How many of those will be back for next Sunday’s top v second battle at Whitehaven isn’t yet known — perhaps only two or three — but it’s fair to say that Roughyeds are, at the very least, as well equipped as ‘Haven and the chasing pack to go up automatically, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.
Have any Roughyeds rivals, for instance, got a second-row pairing to match that of our Danny boys, Langtree and Bridge?
Bridge took the club’s official man-of-the-match award here and among his rivals for the individual accolade was a strong-running forward who scored a ten-minute hat-trick early in the game.
Who would that be? You got it in one: Langtree.
He now totals 11 tries in nine games since his return from Hull FC –an impressive statistic by any means.
Bridge is nothing like as prolific but whereas ‘Langers’ knows the way to the line the’other’ Danny Boy is best served by his habit of hitting the gap — or creating one with his size and strength — and then releasing his hands to create opportunities for those outside him.
How interesting will the Bridge-Leeming double act become when they have played alongside each other a few more times and have come to enjoy the almost telepathic understanding that so many sporting twosomes employ to achieve such rich pickings?
They are both big, strong, talented and tenacious and how good was it to see centre Leeming, on his Vestacare debut, scoring a brace of tries, one in each half?
Others came from Jamie Greenwood, manufactured by Zack McComb and Langtree; Gareth Owen, Harry Maders, McComb and Matty Wilkinson (2), whose speed off the mark and eye for an opening from a standing start, is always exciting to behold.
In a peculiar wind David Hewitt wasn’t at his best as a marksman but his six goals from 11 attempts took us past the 50 mark and served to give Scott’s boys the best for-and-against points record in the division.
Full-back Phil Cowburn and half-back Steven Parry were the best in a Raiders side that looked much better, stronger and more slickly structured than in previous years.
That needs to be considered by those fans who said they expected more from the home outfit.
Eleven tries is fair game.
OLDHAM: Holmes; Aaronson, McComb, Leeming, Maders; Brook, Hewitt; Joy, Wilkinson, Law, Bridge, Langtree, Gregson, Subs: Crook, Owen, Whittel, Greenwood.
WEST WALES RAIDERS: Cowburn; Jennings, Nadabale, Snook, Sabour; Parry, Hunt; Desmond-Walker, Shaw, Herron, Celerino, Evans, Bateman. Subs: Maiden, Rice-Wilson, Walker, Mulkeen.
Ref: Liam Staveley; Att: 552.