MARTYN Ridyard was expected to be Swinton’s main man in the Betfred Challenge Cup tie at Heywood Road and so it proved in our 23-14 defeat.
His three goals from four attempts were all reasonably easy conversions, but he wasn’t expected to score a try and it was his score early in the second half, soon after we had got back in the game at 12-10, that put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as we were concerned.
Then, typical of him, he dropped a late goal which took the Lions’ lead from 12 to 13 and meant we needed to score three times to snatch it in the last few minutes.
Swinton went in front after only five minutes when they moved the ball left to right and created space for Rhodri Lloyd to send in centre Sam Grant for a try which Ridyard improved from in front.
After that, Roughyeds totally dominated the first half and were camped out in Swinton territory.
Alas, we made too many mistakes and failed to capitalise on our territorial advantage apart from one occasion when first Martyn Reilly and then Tyler Dupree made good breaks and Danny Langtree went over.
Dan Abram couldn ‘t convert the try, but trailing only 6-4 at half-time, and with the wind behind them in the second half, Roughyeds were fancied to press home their advantage.
Luke Waterworth sent in Will Hope for a try which Ridyard goaled, but we kept in touch when Lewis Charnock’s short ball saw Dupree crossing. Abram’s conversion again put us only two points down, but 11 points to Swinton in the next 20 minutes carried the game away from us.
Ridyard’s try and goal made it 18-10 and then he and his half-back, Jack Hansen created a try out wide, down our left again, for Deane Meadows.
The drop goal from master-craftsman Ridyard took the game away from us but five minutes from the end Ben Heaton did well to score in the corner after Abram had joined the line and had received from Charnock.
We play Lions again at Bower Fold on Friday (5.15) as we start our Championship campaign with a game we really need to be winning.
Swinton — drop goal, Ridyard; goals, Ridyard 3/4; tries, Grant, Hope, Ridyard, Meadows;
Oldham — goal, Abram; tries, Langtree, Dupree, Heaton.
SWINTON: Butt; Lepori, Grant, Cox, Roberts; Ridyard, Hansen; Brogan, Waterworth, Hatton, Lloyd, Gregson. Hope. Subs (all used): Brickhill. Brown, Nash, Meadows.
OLDHAM: Abram; Brierley, Heaton, Roberts, Ince; Charnock, Barran; Kirk, Owen, Reilly, Bridge, Langtree, Bent; subs (all used): Dupree, Spencer, Pick, Green.
Referee: Tom Grant.