Rugby League: Law Cup Final
Rochdale Hornets 24 - 28 Oldham Roughyeds
Date published: 11 January 2018
Photo: Jackie Meredith
Law Cup: Rochdale Hornets v Oldham Roughyeds
Oldham Roughyeds held on in a hard fought final against Rochdale Hornets for a well earned win to take the Law Cup back to Whitebank on Wednesday night.
Hornets’ all time leading points scorer Paul Crook pulled the strings for Oldham while it was Luke Adamson who provided some blockbusting runs for Hornets in a game that was widely kept in the balance.
Both sides crossed the white wash four times but it was Crook’s eye for goal that eventually saw Roughyeds edge the contest by four points.
Oldham started brighter and pressed Hornets with repeat sets and crossed the line after just four minutes. Matt Reid got the better of Callum Mulkeen to barge over for the opening score. Crook could not convert from out wide.
Hornets hit back with repeat sets of their own and when Oldham were penalised for holding down some smart play saw new signing Luke Adamson break the Oldham line to feed Ben Moores to level things up. Lewis Palfrey added the goal and Hornets took the lead.
With the heavy Spotland surface slowing the game down, Hornets eventually found their feet with some well organised play finding Palfrey in the middle who chipped over for the on rushing Earl Hurst but an Oldham player almost snatched the ball from his grasp but sending into the path of Gary Middlehurst who pounced on the loose ball to extend the Hornets lead. Palfrey added the extras.
Oldham had the final say of the half, with Crook linking up with Barlow on the left edge to float a kick through for him to grab and dot down for a try. Crook showed his skill with the boot to convert from the whitewash to put Oldham just two points behind.
Half time: Rochdale Hornets 12 - 10 Oldham Roughyeds
Hornets started the second half as they did the first, very passive and struggled to find any kind of rhythm.
Oldham had their chance to level the game up when the touch judge spotted a Dave Allen high tackle giving them with a kickable penalty. Up stepped Crook to level the scores.
The typical arm wrestle ensued that had become a trademark in games featuring the two clubs over the last couple of years and it was a case of who would blink first as Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw introduced some debutants to the fold and reshuffled the pack with the impressive Luke Adamson also returning alongside Joe Taira.
Oldham scored next points, Crook again knocking over a penalty to nudge thm in front.
Danny Bridge laid on a stunning flat pass to send Reid through a gap on Hornets’ right flank to gallop away for his second try of the night. Crook landed another conversion.
Hornets responded through Luke Adamson who charged down a Dave Hewitt kick. The ball bobbled toward the try line and Adamson snaffled the loose ball and carried it over the line to score. Palfrey made it three from three and Hornets were back in it just two points adrift.
Oldham did enough to keep Hornets at arms length with Crook again sliding a kick to the in goal, which pinballed around for what felt like an age before an Oldham man dived on the loose ball and claimed a try. Crook again added the two.
A further successful Crook penalty kick moments later extended the Oldham lead to 10 points.
With minutes left on the clock Hornets were camped in the Oldham half from a short kick off that was fumbled into touch.
Shrewd Hornets build up play allowed debutant Blake Turner to burst through the Oldham line and carry a number of defenders into the in-goal before slamming the ball down for a try to set up a dramatic finale. Palfrey added the goal to put Hornets a converted score away from victory.
However, Oldham held out to take victory.
Photos: Jackie Meredith