Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


North Wales drop goal ends Oldham's play-off hopes

A NORTH Wales drop-goal cut short Oldham’s League One play-off campaign, as Crusaders won 13-12 at Boundary Park.

When Josh Hughes-Lynch managed to spill a stationary ball off a Martyn Ridyard kick, not far off his own line, the win looked to have been in the bag for Oldham.

In the aftermath, though, Roughyeds threw away their chance when a fracas ensued which resulted in Crusaders’ Dave Gibbons and Zac Baker both being sent off with a penalty awarded in North Wales’ favour, which lead to their drop-goal.

Oldham were unlucky they weren’t already in front, in what was a fiercely-contested game with both sides going full throttle, after they had three second-half tries disallowed.

The first came just minutes into the second half when Jordan Paga broke through the line after some trickery but, before he could ground the ball, the referee adjudged Zac Baker’s run obstructed the North Wales defenders.

Then, on the hour mark, Pat Ah Van thought he had scored in the corner after being played in by full-back Gregg McNally, but he was ruled to be in touch.

Minutes later, unlucky Roughyeds were denied for a third time after the referee ruled out a McNally try for another obstruction.

Oldham could not match their first half performance which had them two scores in front at the break and North Wales took advantage of their indiscipline which saw Roughyeds conced six second-half penalties.

They got off to a perfect start and after a dominant ten minutes, Ah Van opened the scoring when he dived over in the corner after being played in direct from the scrum.

The lead was doubled five minutes later, after a high Martyn Ridyard kick found its way to a wide open Kian Morgan who ran in unopposed to score.

From then on, until the hooter sounded for half time, there were chances for both sides but neither could find a way through.

It was a nightmare start to the second half when a loose-carry, in what was Oldham’s first touch, lead to Callum Hazzard forcing his way over, close to the line.

Ten minutes later and North Wales were level when Matt Fletcher evaded several Oldham tacklers on the line to ground the ball.

There were chances for Oldham to re-gain their advantage with Paga and Rawsthorne going close, but they could not find that crucial last pass.

North Wales had their moments, too, when they forced a goal-line drop-out, missed a penalty goal and dropped the ball just as they were about to score.

Both Crusaders and Oldham also had missed drop-goal attempts, before Toby Hughes kicked the winner to break Oldham’s hearts.

It was a disappointing end to what has been a season full of highs and lows, but news of Super League star Joe Wardle signing on as player/assistant coach – which was announced before the game – is just a taste of what is to come from what will be an emboldened Oldham next year.


Oldham: goals, Ridyard 2/2; tries, Ah Van, Morgan

North Wales: goals, Hayes 2/3, drop-goal, Hughes; tries, Hazzard, Fletcher


NORTH WALES: Gibbons; Hughes-Lynch, Taylor, Reid, Massam; Hughes, Hayes; Houghton, Burns, Barratt, Ellis, Oakley, Forster. Subs: Rainford, Hazzard, Fletcher, Andrade (all used). 18th Man: Holmes.

OLDHAM: McNally: Rawsthorne, Carr, Morgan, Ah Van; Ridyard, Ellis; Johnson, Wilkinson, Moran, Hirst, Baker, Whittel. Subs: Paga, Meadows, Newton, Nelmes (all used). 18th Man: Slater.

Referee: Kevin Moore; HT: 12-0; Pens: 5-8; Att: 836


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