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A view from the South Stand - By Ossy

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" Teams :- Cougars :- James Craven; Richie Barnett; Danny Lawton; Daley Williams; Paul White; Danny Jones; Paul Handforth; Jode Sheriffe; Luke Haigh; Sean Hesketh; Josh Lynam; Subs :- Scott Law; Neil Cherryholme; Jack Lee; Ross Peltier. "


With apologies... how could I have missed Brendon Rawlins and Paul March?


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As he does every week, long time supporter Chris Osbaldeston gives his view of the game. Ossys match reports are published across Social media each week as he is a supporter writing for supporters. It should be pointed out that like all his reports they are not endorsed, supported by or necessarily the views of the club.

A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH STAND - By Chris Osbaldeston


This was a bad day all round for Dewsbury Rams.

I usually try to avoid mentioning match officials in my postings, after all it isn’t the easiest job in the world. On the other hand however, the performance we saw from Dave Merrick yesterday simply can’t be ignored. Even during the warm up he made a point of showing off his power with a series of press ups on the fencing right in the middle of The South Stand whilst exchanging banter with The Leythers. Not the wisest of moves perhaps given what was to follow…

The Rams kicked off downwind towards the Owl Lane end and took full advantage of the conditions, opening the scoring with Kieran Hyde intercepting and racing some 60 yards for the first try, Jordan Grayston adding the conversion.

It wasn’t all one way though, and The Rams defence had to be at their best to deny Leigh before fighting back, extending their lead with a Grayston penalty shortly after the half hour mark. This was a different side to the one we watched at Cougar Park last week though, having awarded a further try to The Rams over on the Main Stand side, Mr. Merrick then changed his mind on the intervention of a touch judge who was some 40 yards away. Don’t ask me why because I still don’t know.

This was the moment when things started to go wrong though. Leigh substitute Jamie Acton got away with a couple of high tackles before Rams forward Matt Haggerty responded in kind and was immediately given a red card. It was an unnecessary move in my opinion, one that totally ruined what promised to be a good second half when ten minutes in the bin for both Haggerty and Acton at that point might have avoided some of the problems we saw later.

Half time :- Rams  8  Centurions 0.

Just how much that decision affected the game became clear in a matter of minutes with tries from Liam Kay and Ryan Brierley, the latter being converted by Martyn Ridyard saw the Centurions take the lead.  

I don’t know what was said at half time, but Dave Merrick then proceeded to add to his blunders by giving The Rams several dubious decisions as if that would make things right. Of course it didn’t, and though they defended manfully, Leigh added further tries from Tom Spencer (55 mins), Kurt Haggerty (60 mins), and a second for Ryan Brierley with some ten minutes left on the clock. All were converted by Ridyard, extending their lead to 8 – 28, but it was at this point that Mr. Merrick began to pay the price for his earlier decisions.

Kurt Haggerty was the first to go to the bin, exactly why I’m not sure, though it seemed the referee simply lost patience with his every decision seeming to be questioned. The total was 12 apiece – players on the pitch that is – and The Rams struck back, Dale Morton scoring in the corner and narrowing the gap to 12 – 28. It was far too late to affect the final score of course, but it seemed that Mr. Merrick still wanted to leave his stamp on the game, dismissing Jamie Acton to the bin – a move he should have made in the first half.

Final score :- Dewsbury Rams 12  Leigh Centurions 28.

TEAMS:- Rams :- Louis Sherrif; Dale Morton; Kieran Hyde; Shane Grady; Greg Scott; Jordan Grayston; Anthony Thackeray; Makali Aizue; Wayne Godwin; Ewan Dowes; Rob Spicer; Scott Hale; Josh Tonks.  Subs :-  Ryan Hepworth; Tommy Gallagher; Matthew Haggerty; Callan Becket.
Centurions :- Tom Armstrong; Cameron Pitman; Jake Emmitt; Robert Beswick; Sam Hopkins; Martyn Ridyard; Ryan Brierley; Tom Spencer; Kurt Haggerty; Tommy Goulden; Greg McNally; Liam Kay; Adam Higson.  Subs :- Sam Barlow; Oliver Wilkes; Sean Penkywicz; Jamie Acton.
Referee :- Dave Merrick.

Attendance :- 1,193

Rams Man of the Match :- Jordan Grayston.

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He's probably got nothing better to do :)

What do you mean by that? Did you not read the post that Elton John is to play Leigh?

Can you imagine the conversation

Elton "where I am playing next ? O2 or NEC or Wembley?"

"Er no........Leigh"

Elton " where''s that?"

"Get me the postcode and I'll have a look on the sat nav.......Jesus!"

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The latest instalment from Ossy:



Perhaps it has something to do with my own playing career, (mostly football and the 15 man game I’m afraid), but for some reason I always feel nervous and uncertain before every game. Today however I made the mistake of telling my companions on ‘The Barmy Army’ bus that I felt confident we’d come out on top, so I suppose you can blame me for the poor start The Rams made to today’s game.

For some reason we simply couldn’t hang on to the ball, and with only ten minutes on the clock we already found ourselves 12 – 0 in arrears. The first try went to Daniel Toal, a kick through bouncing perfectly for him to gather and cross for the try and Ryan Shaw adding the conversion.

Okay I was thinking, these things can happen sometimes, only I wasn’t expecting it to happen again when winger Dalton Grant collecting a kick through to race over for Raiders second try. With Shaw adding the conversion again Rams were twelve point down and it might have been worse. Another fumble saw Barrow over again only for the try to be disallowed and thankfully The Rams were able to hit back right away. It was Wayne Grady who made making the initial break before sending Anthony Thackeray racing over under the posts for their first try. With Jordan Grayston adding the conversion I felt confident that we were back in the game only to be proved wrong.

Raiders second row Liam Harrison was proving to be a handful in these early stages, with the rest of his pack charging in behind him The Raiders half backs were dictating the game and it was no great surprise when Liam Campbell carved his way through The Rams defence for their third try. With Shaw adding the conversion again they were 18 – 6 in front and fully deserved to be there.

Slowly though The Rams pack, well led by Tommy Gallagher, were starting to exert some real pressure, and behind them Anthony Thackeray began to dismantle the Barrow defence with a couple of quick tries around the half hour mark. Both of these were converted by Grayston to level the score, and it was Jordan’s penalty in the final seconds of the half which eased them into the narrowest of leads as the whistle went.

Half time :- Raiders 18 Rams 20.

It certainly wasn’t a decisive lead, though the opening moments of the half seemed to suggest different, Scott Hale collecting a cross kick to plunge over the line some five minutes in and Grayston adding another conversion to stretch the lead a little further. Barrow certainly weren’t folding, not even when Tommy Gallagher’s break was taken on by Tom Hemingway who sent Thackeray in for his 4th try of the game. Grayston’s kicking was also first class, the conversion being quickly followed by a comfortable penalty that stretched The Rams lead to 30 - 40

With the score at 18 – 32 in favour of The Rams, the game seemed done and dusted, only Barrow clearly hadn’t read the script and came storming back with a couple of quick tries from Andrew Dawson and Niall Evalds around the hour mark. With Ryan Shaw adding both conversions we were back down to a two point lead and my nerves were getting totally shredded. To be honest the uncertainty is normally one of the things I love most about our game, but I felt it was vital that we came away with a win today.

Thankfully it seemed that Anthony Thackeray felt the same way because a couple of minutes later he was racing over for his fifth try of the game, an amazing feat that had me wondering how long it had been since we saw a Rams player notch up five tries in a single game? With Grayston adding yet another conversion and following that up with a penalty we were eight points up and the time was ticking away inexorably.

There was just long enough for winger Dale Morton to go over for another try, and though Grayston missed the conversion, the hooter sounded to confirm the fact that Dewsbury had notched up another important victory.


TEAMS:- Raiders :- Ian Mort; Niall Evalds; Ryan Shaw; Mal Wiper; Dalton Grant; Dom Speakman; Liam Campbell; Joe Burke; Nathan Mossop; Liam Harrison; Daniel Toal; Danny Jones; Andrew Dawson. Subs :- Joe Bullock; Mick Govin; Aaron Low; Jamie Butler.

Rams :- Louis Sherrif; Dale Morton; Kieran Hyde; Shane Grady; Greg Scott; Jordan Grayston; Anthony Thackeray; Makali Aizue; Wayne Godwin; Ewan Dowes; Scott Hale; Ryan Hepworth; Callan Beckett. Subs :- Stephen Nash; Tom Hemingway; Tommy Gallagher; Matthew Haggerty.

Referee :- Joe Cobb.

Attendance :- 917.

Rams Man of the Match :- Anthony Thackeray… that’s purely my selection by the way, but given his superb five try haul I don’t think there’ll be too much argument with it.

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Was Hyde in the three quarters and Grayston at stand off Ossy?

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what do you think are these players best positions?


i'd put sheriff at full-back and give him a decent run. he had a couple of poor games but i think he's better than what we've seen.


hyde i like as an impact player who can come at hooker or in the halves. not a full-back though.


grayston could be a good one for the future and it looks like he can cover centre or full-back.

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Sherriff at Full Back, Wright on bench with Hyde. And unfortunately not Josh Tonks he's not big enough taking the ball up. Tackling is very good but need to be good at both.

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Sherriff at Full Back, Wright on bench with Hyde. And unfortunately not Josh Tonks he's not big enough taking the ball up. Tackling is very good but need to be good at both.


Joel Farrell needs to be given a chance.

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When we made the trip up to Barrow last week I was in an unusually optimistic frame of mind, and we won. This week however I made the journey to Rams Stadium in a rather less positive mood, yet we won again. Sometimes I think I’ll never understand this game we love so much.

To be honest the early moments weren’t the best for The Rams. They were under pressure for much of the time and it was no great surprise when Fax winger Tommy Saxton, on loan fron Featherstone, opened the scoring with a try in the corner. Though Steve Tyrer missed the conversion, a penalty followed a few minutes later edging the visitors further into the lead at 0 - 6.

Believe it or not I don’t usually make a habit of criticising referees, but it was around this time that The South Standers began to question some of the decisions we were seeing from Mr. Cobb, and to be honest I couldn’t really argue with them. The 40-20 that wasn’t, the blatant knock on that was simply waved away and an equally blatant kick not two yards in front of the touch judge that was simply ignored.

Yet The Rams continued to hold on and, despite Tyrer adding a further penalty around the half hour mark, they were also beginning to threaten. So it was no real surprise when Anthony Thackeray followed up a kick to touch down. With Jordan Grayston adding the conversion, the score was back at 6 – 8 with only a few minutes left of the first half. Neither side was able to add to their score before the hooter sounded, and that was still the situation when the first forty minutes came to an end.

Half Time :- Rams 6 Halifax 8.

I could be wrong of course, it has been known. But it was some three minutes into the second half before Austin Buchanan finally managed to get his hands on the ball, and a further sixty seconds before he crossed the line for the try that eased the Rams in front. Again Grayston added the conversion extending the lead to 12 – 8, though the game was always a close one.

Having criticised Mr. Cobb for some of his earlier decisions, I’m pleased to confirm that the second forty minutes saw a far more polished performance from him and, as a result, was almost trouble free. In my opinion that’s the way the men in the middle should perform, though credit to Fax, they didn’t adopt the tactics we’d seen from Leigh only two weeks ago and both sets of supporters got a cracking second half that could have gone either way right up to the final hooter.

The Rams were buzzing in these early moments, Shane Grady bursting through down the main stand side and handing on to Scott Hale who was finally hauled down well into the Fax half. Not only was he hauled down, but he was also held down by Saxton, an action that earned him a ten minute stay on the sidelines, but could well have prevented a further try for Dewsbury. It did result in a penalty however which was duly slotted over by Grayston edging The Rams a further two points ahead at 16 – 8.

It should have been more, and The South Stand was already erupting in delight as they watched Thackeray race over, only to lose the ball in the act of touching down. How often are games decided by such moments, and sure enough Fax came right back with Ryan Fieldhouse touching down a kick through from stand-off Scott Murrell. With Tyrer’s conversion managing to avoid the posts on this occasion they were right back in the game at 14 apiece.

Things were getting edgy. The drop goals simply wouldn’t go over and it was another try from Fax that broke the deadlock, Callum Casey forcing his way over for their third try with ten minutes left, Tyrer’s conversion attempt coming back off the post for the second time in the game.

But Morro’s efforts are certainly beginning to pay dividends, because The Rams weren’t ready to give up on this one, and with a couple of minutes left on the clock Shane Grady forced his way over for the try that levelled the scores again. Jordan Grayston’s conversion edged them into a two point lead, but even now the drama wasn’t over.

A late penalty to Fax had the fans of both sides holding their breath, though the cheer from The Rams fans when the kick went wide was possibly the loudest of the afternoon.

The hooter went, we’d won a cracking game and I could calm my frantically beating heart at last. See… I admit it… I do have one.

Dewsbury Rams:- Jobe Murphy; Dale Morton; Shane Grady; Callan Becket; Austin Buchanan; Kieran Hyde; Anthony Thackeray; Ryan Hepworth; Wayne Godwin; Makali Aizue; Ewan Dowes; Scott Hale; Jordan Grayston. Subs:- Tom Hemingway; Stephen Nash; Tommy Gallagher; Matthew Haggerty.

Halifax:- Ryan Fieldhouse; Tommy Saxton; Steve Tyrer; Ross Divorty; Wayne Reittie; Scott Murrell; Paul Mennell; Tony Tonks; Luke Ambler; Dane Manning; Ben Johnson; Sam Brooks; Luke Adamson. Subs:- Jack Spencer; Andy Bracek; Keith Holden; Callum Casey.

Referee :- Joe Cobb.

Attendance :- 1,213

Man of the Match :- Anthony Thackeray

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Great stuff Ossy. Your change of heart about the second half performance of He Who Shall Be Obeyed was in line with the thoughts of some of your South Stand brethren, who had an idea that someone from on a higher plane than he had suggested he should well, mend his ways somewhat!

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After a deserved break, Chris is back with another excellent match report:



Referee :- Gareth Hewer.

Teams :- Dewsbury :- Karl Pryce; Dale Morton; Callan Beckett; Shane Grady; Austin Buchanan; Tom Hemingway; Anthony Thackeray; Ewan Dowes; Kyle Briggs; Makali Aizue; Scott Hale; Ryan Hepworth; Jobe Murphy. Subs :- Stephen Nash; Matthew Haggerty; Kieran Hyde; Rob Spicer.

Doncaster :- David Scott; Nev Morrison; Liam Cunningham; Liam Welham; Stewart Sanderson; Paul Cooke; Jacob Miller; Matt Carbutt; Kyle Kesik; Liam Watts; Liam Colbon; Alex Starling; Steve Snitch. Subs :- Russell Spiers; Scott Spaven; Ryan Wilson; Michael Kelly.

Having missed the last three games due to holiday commitments (two sunny weeks with the family in Port des Torrent, Ibiza by the way), it was good to get back to one of the true joys of my life, a Rams home game, this one being against a Doncaster side who’ve been having a pretty good season so far. It always promised to be a good and close run game and, for most of the afternoon, that’s exactly what we got.

Both sides had their chances in those early moments, and it seemed as though Donny were over, only to be called back for a forward pass. From the start it was a competitive game, and though both sides had spells on attack, it was generally the defences who ruled the first half. As a result it was around the half hour mark before the deadlock was broken with a penalty from the visitors, slotted over by David Scott following an incident which saw their prop Russ Spiers stretchered from the field.

Their lead was a short lived one however, some two minutes to be exact, and it was Rams half back Anthony Thackeray who burst through and raced half the length of the pitch before touching down in the corner. Dewsbury were buzzing now, and increased their lead when Kyle Briggs touched down as the hooter sounded. Though Rams failed to convert either of these tries, they turned round 8 – 2 in the lead.

It was still anybody’s game though. Dewsbury had played well but there was still 40 minutes left, and the question in my mind was whether they could keep things going for the whole game?

Dale Morton’s superb break tore the Donny defence to shreds, and though he was pulled down short of the line, Callan Beckett was quick to follow up, driving over the line for The Rams third try. This time Tom Hemingway added the conversion and, when Karl Pryce’s perfectly timed pass sent Shane Grady over for their fourth try. This time it was Kieran Hyde who missed the conversion, but at 18 – 2 in front, it seemed The Rams were home and hosed though of course I should have known better than to allow such thoughts into my mind. Around the hour mark Rob Spicer was given ten minutes in the bin, and Donny took advantage Liam Watts going over for their first, and only try of the game, David Scott adding the conversion to narrow the gap.

Suddenly 18 – 8 didn’t seem such an insurmountable target, but Dewsbury not only settled my nerves when Rob returned to the fray, but they finished off the game in some style. This time it was Makali Aizue who laid the foundations; he’d proved to be a handful all afternoon, and with four or five minutes left on the clock it seemed he was going to bulldoze his way over. He was finally hauled down short, though Thackeray was quick to take advantage, driving over from short range for his second try of the game. Hemingway added the conversion and The Rams had secured some important points.
Dewsbury Rams 24 - Doncaster 8.

Man of the match :- Anthony Thackeray.

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