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Two late penalties win it for the Dons



Two late penalty goals proved decisive as Roughyeds lost 16-12 at Doncaster.

Stu Littler’s men led 12-6 at the hour mark, and were good value for it, but credit the Dons with a late smash-and-grab act to deny the visitors their first away win this year in Betfred League One.

For long periods of an evenly-fought contest, Oldham looked more than capable of winning, but a combination of poor finishing in sight of the line and a 6-1 second-half penalty count against them tipped the scales in Doncaster’s favour.

Owen Restall was in exciting form from the start, spearheading an Oldham attack that, alongside strong defence, put Roughyeds in a commanding position heading for half time.

They went in front after quarter of an hour when Restall joined a right-to-left shift outside the halves and left-centre Kian Morgan went inside the full-back to score — a lovely try goaled by Martyn Ridyard.

Home winger Tom Halliday caused Roughyeds some consternation every time he got the ball, but on the most dynamic of his surges up the wing he put a foot in touch, much to Oldham’s relief.

Then, as the clock ticked down to half-time, Oldham made their first and only major defensive mistake near half way.

Loui McConnell stepped an over-enthusiastic and over-hasty one-on-one tackle and with Roughyeds opened-up and vulnerable, Doncaster shifted the ball right and centre Robbie Storey had a walk-in, Robinson goaled for 6-6.

Eight minutes into the second half, Oldham were back in front.

Jordan Andrade came up with a terrific offload under pressure and James Thornton scored for Ridyard to add the extras.

At 12-6 to the good, and with Restall and Morgan always dangerous and with Brad Jinks causing mayhem from dummy half, Oldham looked to be in the box seat.

Exciting breaks by Morgan and Jinks came to nothing (credit Doncaster for getting back to cut off support routes) and then Jinks went again only for his final pass to Restall to be judged forward.

Before that, Billy Yarrow got over the line twice, first from dummy half, then when Will Cooke palmed a Dave Hewitt kick back to him, but on each occasion Oldham were ruled to have infringed.

It was entertaining end-to-end fare which started to move in the home side’s favour when Will Cooke scragged the dangerous Holland , but was penalised for dragging him into touch.

Fantastic defensive work held up Ben Mathiou over the line, but when the Dons switched play to the left, half-back Robinson crashed through a half gap and kicked the goal.

At 12-12 with 20 minutes to go it was anyone’s game, but two debatable penalties went to the home side — the first for a high tackle, the second for a heavily disputed illegal steal and Robinson kicked a goal on each occasion.

Between them, Roughyeds again looked like winning when Jinks broke clear but his close support was a prop who hadn’t the pace to go himself and whose stray offload went straight into the hands of a retreating defender.

Scorers:

Doncaster - goals, Robinson 4/4; tries, Storey, Robinson;

Oldham - goals, Ridyard 2/2; tries, Morgan, Thornton.


DONCASTER: Howe; Halliday, Storey, Sanderson, Corrion; Poching, Robinson; Foster, Whitmore, Mathiou, Ollett-Hobson, Smeaton, Petersen. Subs: McConnell, Cockayne, Fella, Ruan.

OLDHAM: Restall; Holcroft, Carr, Morgan, Cooke; Ridyard, Hewitt; Nelmes, Jinks, Spencer, Windrow, Ferry, Whittel. Subs: Yarrow, Thornton, Andrade, Cameron.

Ref: M Rossleigh; HT: 6-6; Pens: 7-2; Att: 1,095

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