ASSUMING it was going to be a tight game, Oldham planned to stick with the Bulls for 70 minutes – and then snatch it late on.
“That’s pretty much what happened,” said Roughyeds boss Scottt Naylor when giving the inside story of his side’s gripping 26-22 win over Bradford at Bower Fold in the KP Championship.
“We actually planned it like that,” revealed Naylor. “We always felt that if we were still in it on 70 minutes we could finish it off.
“It was our day. It’s nice because we don’t seem to get many days when we get a bit of luck, the bounce of the ball and things like that.
“We had to earn that late chance though and that’s credit to every single player.”
Oldham, twice trailing by eight points, were 22-20 down three minutes from the end when centre Kieran Gill scored an absolute gem of a try after being set up by his winger and fellow Castleford Tigers loanee Tuoyo Egodo.
Egodo (20) and Gill (21) were two of the youngest players in the side, alongside Liam Bent (19) and David Hewitt (21).
Egodo moved to left wing from centre to make way for the return of Gill, who was unavailable for the previous game at Batley.
George Tyson, the other centre at Batley, was a late withdrawal after tweaking a hamstring in training. His place went to Danny Grimshaw, a defensive hero.
Prop Nathan Mason was the only dual-reg man on duty, while Sammy Gee, one of two vice-captains, was recalled at hooker ahead of his club captain and 18th man Gareth Owen.
Watched by RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, both sides served up a tasty dish that more than justified Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton’s decree that Championship rugby was quality fare and worthy of much bigger crowds.
The attendance of nearly 1,700, was the biggest Championship crowd at Bower Fold since Roughyeds went there at the start of last season, bettered only by the 2,394 for last season’s Challenge Cup tie against Warrington Wolves.
It was Oldham’s first win against Bradford since 1994 in the days of the old Stones Bitter Championship first division.
Roughyeds won 32-12 at Watersheddings with tries by Abram (2), Gibson (2), Gary Lord and Clarke.