Flying start for Roughyeds
Date published: 19 February 2018
Matt Wilkinson scored the only try during Oldham's win at Whitehaven
by Ryan Booth
Paul Crook converted a remarkable five goals as Oldham opened their 2018 Betfred League 1 campaign with a hard-fought 14-0 victory over Whitehaven in a sluggish contest at the Recreation Ground.
Matthew Wilkinson’s first-half effort was the only try of the fixture as former Haven man Crook grabbed the headlines with a stellar performance on his first return to Cumbria.
Oldham’s start to the season was far from ideal, Scott Naylor’s side were temporarily reduced to 12 men as David Eccleston was penalised for holding down a Haven counterpart and was sent to the sin bin as a result.
Nevertheless Oldham dug in and were rewarded for their resilience with 21 minutes on the clock as Wilkinson crossed under the sticks after some good work from Crook helped forge the opening, Crook converted the resulting goal in what was the final point scoring action of the half.
In a game that was comprised of frequent individual errors, The Roughyeds remained determined and extended their lead 6 minutes into the second period as Whitehaven conceded a penalty due to a lapse of discipline, Crook stepped up and successfully landed the penalty to extend the visitors’ lead.
This was to become a recurring theme throughout the half as the hosts grew in frustration, Haven gave away another penalty with 20 minutes remaining, Crook confidently dispatched to claim his third goal of the day and increase the margin that separated the sides to 10 points.
Crook, who arrived from the Cumbrian outfit to enhance Roughyeds’ goal kicking ability, rubbed salt in the wounds of his former employers as he scored two further penalties to secure Oldham’s first points of the new campaign.
Whitehaven: Burns, Mossop, Taylor, Holliday, Thompson, Billsborough, Phillips, Shackley, Abram, Coward, Gillam, Reece, Forster. Interchanges: Tilley, Aiye, Nzoungou
Oldham: Nield, Eccleston, Holmes, Reid, Johnson, Crook, Hewitt, Joy, Wilkinson, Neal, Bridge, Langtree, Lannon. Interchanges: Hughes, Nelmes, Spencer, Jones
Oldham Scorers: Tries- Wilkinson (21’)
Goals: Crook (22’, 46’, 60’, 61’, 64’)
Chronicle Man of the Match: Paul Crook