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Thunder Struck

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To use an old sporting cliche, it was a game of two halves.

Oldham trooped in at half time 22 nil to the good but Thunder won the second half 16 points to 12. The final score was Oldham 34, Gateshead 16.

Oldham commanded the first half with a strong defensive display that reduced the Gateshead forwards to a bit part performance, Oldham were dominant both offensively and defensively. The line speed by the Oldham defenders was impressive and in conjunction with the team defensive effort it stopped Gateshead from making many gains.

Oldham scored four well worked tries in the first half and looked in control, they were value for the score line at half time and they deserved to be in front. Gateshead were forced to kick from within their own half on a number of occasions on the fifth tackle.

Gateshead have a big pack with some work horse like players but on the first half performance it did look like the Gateshead of old and at 22 nil down I am sure the 477 people in the crowd were looking for another cricket score but the new Gateshead came out a more organised team.

Oldhams first half scores

Palfrey T, 3 x G

Langtree T x 2

Crowley T

Gateshead opened the second half scoring on the 55th min with a score on the left wing by Blades, who later left the field with an injured ankle.

Oldham immediately replied with a move that saw Neil Roden sending in Josh Crowley for his second try and at 28 4 Oldham looked like they had sealed a convincing win but two quick tries by Gateshead saw the score board displaying 28 16 (That's if we had a score board). The Gateshead number 11 exposed the defensive weakness on the Oldham right hand side, which is the same side North Wales attacked. The Gateshead second rower ran strong and straight to send in his colleagues in for the points, Samuel and Agoro will have to hold their hands up for concealing these points.

The Oldham MOM was Josh Crowley, he scored three tries but more importantly his powerful and strong running split open the Gateshead defense all afternoon. Neil Roden replaced Jamie Dallimore and on today's performance Scott Naylor as a selection headache for the trip to South Wales.

Gateshead were much improved from last season and they will collect some wins this season.

A strong display from Oldham, The weak right hand side was identified again by Gateshead but a another solid performance from an Oldham team with no DR's in the ranks.

Scott Naylor will be disappointed to have lost the second half but overall it was a professional strong display by the Oldham players.

Well played Oldham.

Second Half Scorers

Crowley T x 2

Pelfrey G x 2

Next Weeks fixtures

The Northern Rail Bowl finalist are expected to be North Wales Crusaders v London Skolars.

Sunday 24th March 2013

NORTHERN RAIL CUP Gateshead v Gloucestershire All Golds 15:00 Hemel Stags v Crusaders 15:00 Rochdale v London Skolars 15:00 South Wales v Oldham


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Good all round performance. Advantage playing down the slope in the first half. Pitch cut up badly for the second half making it very hard work for our lads but they held up well, just one or two missed tackles. Palfrey kicked well so would be suprised if he doesn't keep the job next week. Things may have got a bit sticky without his conversions.

Naylor will have some selction problems for next week but this is a good sign as everyone is playing well with great squad morale. Nice problems to have.

Next week will be a big challenge SW are no pushovers.

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Phil Joy had an impressive 2013 first team debut, I was impressed by his powerful, straight and strong running and for a prop forward he can pass and off load the ball....

South Wales have had an indifferent start to the NRC but we always seem to have a difficult game in Wales. on yesterdays showing we should be the stronger team

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enjoyed yesterdays game and met some great oldham fans great people, enjoyed the singing in clubhouse after the game haha me and kev sang loud and proud haha to only get beat by 18 points i was very happy, we are improving, see you all later in season :D cmon thunder! cmon thunder!!

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