Gritty Roughyeds meet tough challenge head on

Date published: 03 February 2014

Barrow 16, Oldham 6
OLDHAM RL Club’s class of 2014 did more than enough in their first run-out at Barrow to make it a happy 42nd birthday for coach Scott Naylor.

With five new faces in a squad of 19, they held the Championship side to 16-6, blocked them in a scoreless second half and looked pretty much their equal throughout - apart from a dodgy spell at the end of the first half when Raiders scored their three tries.

That was the only spell in the game when Barrow looked to be a team from a higher division, especially in the way they turned pressure into points.

Until then Oldham were full value for their 6-0 lead, having defended well before scoring an excellent try midway through the half.

Mark Hobson made a big impact coming off the bench and it was his break up the middle on a short ball which allowed Adam Files to go close from dummy half before slipping a delightful pass which gave new signing Alex Davidson a try-scoring debut. Sam Gee, captain in Lewis Palfrey's absence and out of position at centre, kicked the goal.

The pendulum swung on a couple of Roughyeds’ individual errors and it was only then, as half-time approached, that the Championship side began to look like one.

During that one brief period, and only then, they were more dangerous than Oldham on attack and more clinical with the ball.

Having turned round ten points down, Oldham dominated most of the second half, worked tremendously hard as a unit and lacked nothing in their appetite for the challenge.

Barrow tired, began to make unforced errors and conceded seven penalties for trying to slow down Oldham’s play.

Overall, it was an encouraging start to the pre-season programme