Oldham Hold-out from Skolars’ Comeback Attempt

5th August 2014




Skolars cameback from an early 14 point deficit to lead at half-time, but two tries early in the second half saw Oldham stay in second place, whilst Skolars’ chances of reaching the play-offs became even slimmer.


Oldham started well with Adam Clay going over on the left after just three minutes. Skolars had a chance soon afterwards when Tely Pelo took a Courtney Davies kick after it had come off an Oldham hand. But they couldn’t make the possession count and Oldham counterattacked. Steven Neild’s chip kick was finished off by Mo Agoro, who brushed past Danny Yates with ease.


The Oldham winger scored again three minutes later when he finished off a break by Gareth Owen. A rout look on the cards, but Skolars were quick to turnaround the 14 point deficit. Danny Yates found touch with the restart with a short bouncing kick. Skolars then moved the ball out wide to Will Lovell to score. A break soon afterwards saw John Paxton in space but he forced a pass out to Danny Yates which went forward. But it wasn’t long before they scored, Tely Pelo finding a gap after Skolars enjoyed a second set close to the Oldham tryline.


An angled run towards the left corner saw Will Lovell score his second try and Skolars were ahead. Oldham got close at the other end but lost the ball 10 metres out. The ball was moved quickly from the scrum to Iliess Macani. The winger hasn’t had a happy time for either Skolars or Broncos over the last couple of months, but he showed his ability with a pacey run to the end of the pitch which had the home supporters on their feet in the main stand.


Oldham showed their resilience with a try just before half-time, with Adam Clay edging round the defence for his second try. Steven Roper took over kicking duties from Lewis Palfrey and his conversion narrowed the half-time deficit to two points. They started brightly in the second half, the hard running Josh Crowley proving difficult to stop and still managing to stretch out to get the ball over the line. After a scruffy grubber kick gave Oldham a repeat set, Crowley’s second row partner Danny Langtree had a slightly easier route to the tryline.


Skolars then had several good opportunities to get back into the game. Martyn Smith lost the ball as he weas tackled close to the line. Then three penalties in a minute saw the home side advance upfield again, but they couldn’t make it count. After Michael Ward had gone close, Oldham forced a goal line drop out. Crowley drew in the defence and managed to offload to Clay but the ball was forward.


Danny Yates broke through the defence and Mufaro Mvududu was in an excellent position in support to take the ball onto the line. Courtney Davies’ fourth goal of the day brought the margin back to four points. Skolars went close again when Yates chipped and regathered to set up good field position. The ball went wide to Judd Greenhalgh who couldn’t quite get close enough to the line.


Oldham made the most of that let off and moved the ball out to Agoro who raced to line to complete his hat-trick. The drama was finished as Skolars kicked out on the full. Oldham advance upfield and were 10 metres away from the tryline on the last play of the game. The ball went wide to the left, but Anthony Cox stretched to get a hand to it before regathering the ball to ensure that his side did not lose the bonus point.


Skolars’ coach Joe Mbu felt “that has been the story of our season, we have been playing catch up for most games. I complemented the team for their effort, but was let us down again was the defence”.


The London League Publications man-of-the-match went to Will Lovell for his peformance including two first half tries.



1 John Paxton

16 Iliess Macani

22 Judd Greenhalgh

3 Mufaro Mvududu

34 James Duckworth

6 Courtney Davies

7 Danny Yates

20 Tely Pelo

33 Mike Bishay

21 Michael Sykes

31 Lamont Bryan

12 Will Lovell

10 David Williams


Subs (all used)

8 Ryan McDonald

9 Martyn Smith

13 Louis Robinson

11 Anthony Cox


Tries: Lovell (15,32), Pelo (29), Macani (39), Mvududu (72)

Goals: Davies 4/5



4 Steven Neild

2 Mo Agoro

3 Ben Wood

13 Jon Ford

27 Adam Clay

6 Lewis Palfrey

26 Steven Roper

7 Brett Robinson

8 Phil Joy

26 Gareth Owen

19 Michael Ward

11 Josh Crowley

12 Danny Langtree

22 Liam Thompson


Subs (all used)

7 Brett Robinson

28 Nathan Mason

15 Paddy Mooney

20 George Tyson


Tries:  Clay (3,39), Agoro (10, 12, 78), Crowley (42), Langtree (49)

Goals: Palfrey 1/3, Roper 4/4


Penalty count: 9-5


Half-time: 22-20

Referee: Dave Sharpe

Attendance: 419


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-8, 0-14, 8-14, 12-14, 16-14, 22-14, 22-20, 22-26, 22-32, 28-32, 28-38

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