Rugby league: Rochdale Hornets beat Oldham to win Law Cup

Date published: 13 January 2020

Hornets claimed the 2020 Law Cup with an impressive 18-12 victory over now-Championship rivals Oldham at the Crown Oil Arena.

With rain coming down the previous night it was a possibility that the game might not have gone ahead, but with the exceptional work of ground staff, it did.

The two sides were both looking to improve after their last outings with Hornets falling victim to a 34-24 defeat at the hands of Widnes Vikings.

It was Hornets who gained first blood after a tense opening 15 minutes, and what a try it was to open proceedings.

The ball was worked up field by Shaun Ainscough who made it to the half way line, but a quick play the ball on the next tackle gave Hornets a chance to play quickly and thus shipping the ball along the let hand side with Lewis Sheridan dashing over.

Hornets continued to apply pressure, with Oldham’s kicks over the top being futile, both back lines remained strong with the visitors discipline giving the hosts an advantage in possession.

Andy Lea continued his positive attitude moving the ball forward making yards that led to Hornets' second try.

Ainscough looked to be going into touch, but a loose pass found Freeman who dived over to double Hornets lead with minutes to go till the half time hooter.

As previously mentioned, Lea continued his antics making yards and he managed to get over the line following quick hands from Tala and Marriott. Freeman then converted his first goal of the game from in front of the sticks.

Defence from both sides for the remainder of the first half with the scores staying the same.

It was the visiting supporters who had the first celebrations of the second half, pressure from Oldham finally broke the Hornets line with the Roughyeds rushing through the defensive line despite a last ditch tackle, David Hewitt found the try line to give Matt Diskin's side a glimmer of hope.

That hope turned into reality moments later when former Hornet Dan Abram broke through and dived over to make it 14-10 converting his own try to add the extras.

With thirteen minutes to go in the game, it was edge of the seat stuff.

Constant goal line defence by  Hornets was exceptional, and it was Matt Calland’s side who found the try line next. Shaun Ainscough once again played a key role avoiding touch and playing the ball quickly with Luke Fowden going over from short range.

Hornets held on despite late pressure from Oldham to claim the victory at the Recruitment Solutions sponsored Law Cup.

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