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OLDHAM 24 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 22

12/01/19


This was Liverpool St Helens second group qualifying game in the ADM MJ Worsley Cup having already beaten Heaton Moor 36-11. Since then Heaton Moor had beaten Oldham 44-33. So, subject to confirmation, this was a game that although LSH lost, they are actually winners, as with all three teams registering one win in the group stages, it is presumed that LSH will make the semi-finals as the team with the best points difference.  

Not that this fully explains the alarmingly inept performance of LSH in the second half of this match having led 22-7 at half time after a quite superb display of controlled and attacking rugby.

An Alex McBride penalty gave LSH an early lead but was soon followed by the award of a penalty try to Oldham. From that point on LSH took control through a series of direct and determined midfield runs, spearheaded by Alex McClurg and Dave Cunliffe. In the 22nd minute one such charge saw new recruit Jordan Gibson race over the line under the posts to score, converted by McBride. 7-10. Ten minutes later a quickly taken penalty by Darren Wilson found the impressive Gibson, who once again raced past the Oldham defence to score, again converted by McBride. 7-17. Just before the break a concerted attack down the right flank led to a try from second rower Paddy Royle to give LSH a 7-22 lead.

Maybe both sides had mathematicians within their huddles at half time but for the next 40 minutes the home side seriously upped the tempo to score three more tries, with the winner coming in the last minute. LSH had not been helped by Craig Forster’s red card for a dangerous tackle early in the half leaving them with just 14 men and they had no answer to Oldham’s second half salvo which saw them record their third win over LSH this season.

Nevertheless, subject to the machinations of the League administrators, LSH can look forward to a cup semi-final on Saturday 6 April. The word from those in charge is that we will know where and who against, sometime this week.  


Team

15 Morris 14 McBride 13 Gibson 12 Cunliffe D 11 Cunliffe M 10 McClurg 9 Wilson © 1 Gore 2 Bonati 3 Heywood 4 Royle 5 Forster 6  Hull 7 Ward 8 Webster 16 Metcalfe T 17 Houlton 18 Donlevy 19 Kean.


John Williams