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Oldham breeze past Cougars with 46–10 win

ROUGHYEDS were resounding victors in the Boxing Day clash against Keighley after a strong second half saw them come away with a 46-10 win.

Despite naming a starting thirteen of new signings, the new-look Oldham side gelled well and played some eye-catching rugby.

It was the first run-out in over three months, but the Oldham team didn’t seem to tire and they put Keighley to the sword as they game went on

It was Oldham who scored first through Craig Kopczak who, from close range, crashed over to open the scoring.

Keighley fought back after a low-driven Jack Miller kick – who played well in the halves for the Cougars – was pounced on by Jordan Schofield, much to the dismay of the Oldham defenders who thought they had dealt with it.

Keighley had an opportunity to take the lead when Kopczak was penalised for a late tackle, but it was squandered after a loose carry.

Another error, this time from Oscar Thomas – who failed to catch Logan Astley’s high-hanging kick – meant Oldham were able to score again, direct from the scrum, with Astley the beneficiary.

They then enjoyed a purple patch, led by the tricky Miller who forced a goal-line drop-out with another grubber.

Guided by the skillful Miller, Keighley enjoyed a purple patch when they forced a goal-line drop-out through another well-executed grubber.

Then, a penalty left Oldham camped on their own line, but Cougars could not take their chance after producing another loose carry.

Oldham regained control when Bailey Aldridge made a break out of dummy half and played in Pat Moran, who executed an excellent support run to score near the posts.

Keighley let slip another opportunity as Junior Sa’u became the latest to fumble the ball.

Cougars kept battling and they got their reward when Billy Walkley – who put in a fine performance – plucked a Jordan Turner pass out of the air and ran the length of the field to score a try which Oscar Thomas couldn’t convert.

Cougars persisted, and their perseverance paid off when Billy Walkley – who put in a fine performance – intercepted a pass from Jordan Turner and ran the entire length of the field to make it 10-16.

But, just before half-time, Oldham scored again through Mo Agoro who dived over in the corner.

In the second half, Oldham started where they left off and added to their score when Ted Chapelhow dived on a grubber kick from Jordan Paga under the posts.

Matters were made worse shortly after when Emmerson Whittel managed to elude the Keighley defenders on the line to ground the ball for Oldham’s sixth try.

There were more chances for Keighley, but their lack of precision and cutting edge in good field position allowed Oldham to be let off.

Then a Keighley loose carry, in their own half, was the catalyst for another Oldham try – this time from Cian Tyrer.

Next up was Nick Rawsthorne who was able to ground the ball unopposed on the left wing.

Afterwards, there was great vision shown by Kieran Tyrer who produced a perfectly-weighted kick to set up Ben O’Keefe with Oldham’s ninth try of the afternoon.

Despite it being both side’s first game of pre-season, Oldham showed they are going to take some stopping in 2024.

Scorers:

Keighley: goals, Thomas 1/2; tries, Schofield, Walkley.

Oldham: goals, Craven 2/4, K.Tyrer 3/5; tries, Kopczak, Astley, Moran, Agoro, Chapelhow, Whittel, C.Tyrer, Rawsthorne, O’Keefe.

Teams:

Keighley: Thomas; Downey, Sa’u, Ryder, Walkley; Miller, Dean; Schofield, Kesik, Maher, Robson, Lanskey, Parker. Subs: Stead, Harlow-Stephenson, Hatton (not used), Lynam, Lambourne (not used), Bailey, Pickersgill, Salkeld, Graham.

Oldham: Astley; M.Turner, J.Turner, O’Keefe, Agoro; Craven, Wildie; Kopczak, Aldridge, Farnworth, Wardle, Lawton, Taylor. Subs: Chapelhow, Jack Johnson, Morgan, Rawsthorne, Whittel, K.Tyrer, Paga, Hirst, Moran, C.Tyrer (all used).

Referee: Mike Smaill; HT: 10-20; Pens: 9-1; Att: 634

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