Orrell 2xv 13 Oldham 2xv 7
By John Huyton
Orrell 2xv secure 3 back to back promotions in Halbro Northern Leagues
With a bright but blustery day at Winstanley College Orrell 2xv team concluded their League Fixtures with a visit from Oldham 2xv. Orrell suffered a heavy defeat to Oldham at the start of the season, then knocked Oldham out of the Cup in February, this game was always going to be a hard physical match that would inevitably come down to fitness. Oldham as expected brought a very strong team including a big set of forwards. The strategy to win the game was quite obvious and Orrell 2xv executed it perfectly. The game started and Orrell forwards struggled to get ball in hand and suffered some early penalties for hands in ruck and not releasing the ball. Some excellent kicking by Ollie Lynn pinned Oldham down and credit to the boys they pushed on with respect perseverance and played as a team.
With 21’ on the clock came the games 1st score with Stephen Rowe crossing the line after good work from the forwards. Conversion missed Orrell took the lead 5-0. Oldham started to dominate the scrums which resulted in injury to front row player Jon Statts, Orrell elected to go to uncontested scrums whilst Jon received medical attention from Physio Vanessa Collins. On 37’ Oldham infringed at ruck and Matthew Stafford carmly converted the penalty to make the half time score 8-0 to Orrell.
HT Orrell 8-0 Oldham
Second half underway and Oldham playing down the slope the visitors started apply pressure to the Orrell try line and on 68’ minutes were rewarded with a try and conversion making the score line Orrell 8-7 Oldham. Oldham pressed hard but some magnificent defence from the Orrell boys kept Oldham at bay. John Presho and Louis Whitfield started to make probing runs and kicks which was a welcome relief to Michael Caldwell and his forwards.
On 74’ minutes Ollie Wakefield danced up the touchline but was offended by a heavy high tackle by an Oldham back which resulted in the games 1st yellow card. Orrell quickly took advantage and excellent handling allowed substitute Louis Whitfield to score the final score in corner on 76’ minutes which secures promotion for the third year running.
FT score Orrell 2xv 13 Oldham 2xv 7
Today the Orrell boys displayed 80 minutes of fitness and resilience that is the result of consistent training and individual development.
Oldham came to spoil the party and they failed. Next up for Orrell 2xv team will be the Robinson Brewery Bowl Cup Final on 4th May 2019 vs Leyland Warriors 1xv at Oldham RUFC.
Massive achievement and well done to all concerned.