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Stylish Oldham outclass Hornets

Oldham recorded their biggest victory of the year in front of the largest home league crowd since 2008, to thrash rivals Rochdale 54-6 at Boundary Park.

Captain Jordan Turner, forward Adam Lawton and winger Ben O’Keefe each helped themselves to two tries in a ten-try demolition that head coach Sean Long described as his side’s most complete performance to date.

“I’m really pleased with the win, it was our defensive effort that I was most chuffed about,” said Long.

“We knuckled down and to keep them out for a full second half was really pleasing and I thought we scored some really good tries.”

Jamie Ellis got the ball rolling when he dummied his way over on the right and slotted over an impressive kick for an early 6-0 lead.

Oldham fans packed into a raucous Joe Royle Stand, Rochdale responded well and after back-to-back penalties against the Roughyeds, centre Myles Harrop forced his way over to reduce the arrears. That though would be the Hornets’ last points of the afternoon as Long’s men took firm control.

O’Keefe supplied a flying finish to a slick move in the left corner for his first try of the afternoon, before skipper Turner finished in the same corner after smart work from hooker Matty Wildie. Turner added his second minutes later with a fine spin and powerful finish for a 20-6 lead.

Lawton should have extended the lead before the break but spilled the ball over the line, and Oldham were then reduced to 12 men when the returning Craig Kopczak was sin-binned.

The second half was one-way traffic, as Oldham kept Rochdale out while adding 34 more points of their own.

O’Keefe strolled in for his second, Turner sent Ted Chapelhow in on the last tackle and Paga played Farnworth in under the posts for his second try in two games.

There was still for Mo Agoro’s now customary length-of-the-field try, before Lawton got in on the act with two late scores, the second an absolute peach.

“We are still getting better, we wanted to kick the front door in first of all and then we could play the style we wanted,”

Long added, as his side made it two wins from two at the start of the Betfred League One season.

“We had to go set for set with Rochdale and you take the chances when they come.”

Oldham: Astley, O’Keefe, Turner, Morgan, Agoro, Craven, Ellis, Kopczak, Wildie, Farnworth, Wardle, Lawton, J Chapelhow. Subs: Paga, T Chapelhow, Hirst, Johnson.

Rochdale: Flanagan, Nixon, Hartley, Harrop, Brierley, Hollidge, Else, Brannan, Openshaw, Nelmes, Forster, Ratcliffe, Straugheir. Subs: Whittel, Juma, Andrade, Brennan.

Scorers:

Oldham: Tries: Ellis, O’Keefe 2, Turner 2, T Chapelhow, Farnworth, Agoro, Lawton 2. Goals: Ellis 7.

Rochdale: Tries: Harrop. Goals: Flanagan.

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