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Severe setback as 'Haven run in six tries



OUR win against Halifax Panthers seemed light years ago as Whitehaven rattled up 30 unanswered second-half points to win 36-4 at Bower Fold.

They adapted to the wet, rainy conditions far better than Roughyeds and basically beat us at what has been our own game hitherto in wins at Bower Fold against Barrow Raiders (Challenge Cup), Swinton Lions and Halifax Panthers.

They defended with good technique and loads of enthusiasm; made far fewer mistakes than us; employed a better kicking game; capitalised on our mistakes; and produced some good, attacking rugby in the second half.

Whether they would have won so comprehensively had we not made three individual errors to present them with three cheap tries is open to debate, but they also scored three well-worked tries and they not only kept us scoreless in the second half, but they did it when we were playing down the slight slope which is supposed to be, and up to now always has been, our forte.

Let us not forget that up to a couple of minutes before half-time everything was going according to plan.

‘Haven had twice gone close, first when full-back Green had to pull off a try-saving tackle on Liam Cooper after he had been put clear by Williams and secondly when Roden’s grubber from dummy half looked to have created a try for Karl Dixon, but he was ruled offside.

We were twice pushed into touch in possession — proof of the Cumbrians’ enthusiasm on defence — but we got the break-through when half-backs Dan Abram and Lewis Charnock moved the ball left to right and Callum Green finished off with an excellent try.

Callum Green goes in for Oldham
Callum Green goes in for Oldham

Abram couldn’t add the goal, but we were 4-0 in front; it was nearly half-time; and we had use of the slope to come.

‘Haven boss Gary Charlton either dismissed it as irrelevant or used a cunning plan to lull Roughyeds into a false sense of security. The visitors won the toss and, as we thought, played into Oldham hands by opting to go downhill first.

The first of our gifts gave them a 6-4 interval lead, but we were then rocked by two Whitehaven tries, both of them converted beautifully by Lachlan Walmsley, in the first seven minutes of the new half.

With a lead of 18-4 their self-belief grew almost visibly. At the same time, Oldham’s confidence and will to win seemed to drain out of them and after that there was no comparison between the Cumbrians’ all-action display on attack and defence and our failing attempts to keep them at arm’s length.

The first Whitehaven try after half-time, by Jessie Joe Parker, was the direct result of an Oldham error, but credit the visitors with a teasing, tormenting bomb by Nikau Williams which forced Callum Green into attacking the wet ball in heavy traffic or letting it bounce.

At 12-4 down, and having been undone by two individual mistakes, we seemed to lose the plot.

Thereafter, it was the Callum Phillips show. He scored four tries in 28 minutes after coming off the bench to replace hooker Aiden Roden shortly before half-time.

Yet another Oldham error, this time unforced, caused Declan Gregory to show his frustration and we knew then this wasn’t to be Oldham’s day.

In the next set Phillips opened his account after good work by Williams and on-loan prop Ronan Michael. Walmsley added the goal.

A huge tackle by Shaun Pick and a thrust for the line by Dan Abram, who was held up, were the best efforts we could muster before Phillips scored his second try to definitely take the game away from us. It followed yet another Oldham mistake, but many of them were forced because we were under so much pressure, as we were in this case.

The talented Williams produced a perfect kick and the chase was of such quality that Phillips was on the spot to capitalise on the error. Two more Phillips tries followed as Whitehaven piled on the pressure. They had won the arm-wrestle to establish authority and now they were enjoying themselves.

As for Oldham, well, it certainly wasn’t our day. Not only did we miss a golden opportunity to consolidate our position in the Championship table, but we incurred more injuries with Liam Kirk laid out after a head knock in the first few minutes and Jack Croft helped off in great pain with a knee injury deep into the second half.

Scorers: Oldham — try, Green; Whitehaven – goals, Walmsley 6/6; tries, Cooper, Parker, Phillips (4).

OLDHAM: Green; Brierley, Croft, Roberts, Holcroft; Charnock, Abram; Kirk, Owen, Nelmes, Bent, Langtree, Spencer. Subs (all used): Gregory, Pick, Bridge, Reilly.

WHITEHAVEN: Walmsley; Bulman, Taylor, Mossop, Parker; Dixon, Williams; Walker, Roden, Dawson, Gillam, Cooper, Wilkinson. Subs (all used): Bradley, Michael, Olstrum, Phillips.

Ref: Scott Mikalauskas; Pens, 4-5; Six-Again:3-2.

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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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