Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Swinton edge a thriller in second-half fightback

DERBY rivals Oldham and Swinton Lions fought out a fiercely-competitive Betfred League One game at the Vestacare Stadium with the Lions coming out on top 16-8 after a feisty 80 minutes.

In a game of 22 penalties, four yellow cards and numerous times when referee Kevin Moore spoke to both captains, Roughyeds led 4-2 early in the second half and were always in with a chance of getting at least one league point out of it.

Luke Nelmes was sin-binned first for a late challenge on Jack Hansen after he had put in a kick.

A few minutes later Robbie Butterworth was given a ten-minute rest for what the referee determined to be a tip tackle on Lewis Charnock — and then George Roby also got the yellow card for running in.

The fourth card was thrown at Deane Meadows for an alleged punch late in the game.

The Lions were twice down to 12 men but Roughyeds were down to 11 for a period and it was thanks to a terrific defensive effort during the time when they were two men short that the Lions were kept at bay.

Head coach Stu Littler later paid tribute to his players, not only for their hard work in this game against one of the teams fancied for promotion, but for their massive improvement on what they produced in the previous game at London Skolars.

He said:

“There wasn’t much in it. They got the ball back from two restart kicks and that did us.

“Our effort, attitude and determination, especially when we went down to 11 men, were great. Desire, energy and enthusiasm were there in abundance.

“The focus now is on our next game against Midlands Hurricanes, who come here next Sunday. We know it will be tough, but what we served up in London wasn’t what we are about. Hopefully, the lads have proved that today.”

In a tight first half, Roughyeds were the better side but there were a lot of penalties, mainly for high shots and it was 2-2 at half-time, Dan Abram having landed a 34th-minute penalty before Martyn Ridyard levelled with a long-range shot from near half way.

So far so good . . . even better when Matty Wilkinson was penalised for an off-the-ball shoulder charge and Ridyard’s second goal early in the second half put us 4-2 in the lead.

Unfortunately, Abram’s restart kick was gathered by the Lions, who immediately scored the first try of the game when big prop Louis Brogan took three men over the line with him and Abram’s goal gave the visitors an 8-4 lead.

The Lions, who were now getting on top, went further ahead with some good football which ended with Max Roberts crossing in the corner for a 12-4 lead.

Stu’s men then came up with some excellent right-to-left passing and with the luxury of space in which to pick up speed, Dane Windrow hurtled towards the clubhouse corner and got the touchdown.

Ridyard’s touchline conversion attempt would have reduced the arrears to two points, but he hit the bar, proving the old theory that the difference between success and failure can often be measured in inches.

Worse was to follow though when Swinton again gathered the restart kick and then got a penalty for obstruction which Abram goaled for a six-point lead.

Two minutes later we were penalised for going high on Roberts and Abram again stepped up to the mark with his penalty goal.

Swinton, however, will be the first to admit that there was little between the sides in a tough division that regularly shows how competitive it is from top to bottom.

OLDHAM: goals, Ridyard 2/3; try, Windrow

SWINTON: goals, Abram 4/5; tries, Brogan, Roberts

OLDHAM: Restall; Cooke, Wellington, Carr, Hartley; Ridyard, Butterworth; Nelmes, Jinks, Spencer, Windrow, Thornton, Whittel. Subs, Slater, Andrade, Cameron, Flynn.

LIONS: Abram; Milthorpe, Hatton, Butt, Lepori; Else, Hansen; Brogan, Roby, Meadows, Lloyd, Roberts, Charnock. Subs, Wilkinson, Case, Brickhill, Cox.

Ref, L Moore; Att, 905; Pens, 10-12; HT, 2-2;

Match Details


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