Rams left holding on to earn first win

Oldham 28

DEWSBURY Rams recorded their first win in the Northern Rail Cup but they were left hanging on after a dramatic late fightback by Oldham.

For almost three-quarters of this group game at the Whitebank Stadium, Dewsbury were in complete control and fully deserved their 30-4 lead against the Championship One outfit.

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There was real optimism among Rams followers that they would add to their six tries in the final 20 minutes but it was Oldham who suddenly found a spring in their step to give the visitors a huge fright.

Dewsbury showed their intentions from the start as they looked to exploit Oldham’s vulnerable right side.

Before the home side had even touched the ball, Ayden Faal side stepped his opposite centre to cross wide out. Scott Spavin was unable to convert but Dewsbury were up and running.

Things improved after eight minutes when Ben Jones benefited from a neat offload by Ryan Esders to score and Spavin added the goal to put the Rams 10-0 up.

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Dewsbury repelled a brief spell of Oldham pressure before they mounted another attack and having opted to run the ball on the last tackle, Ed Barber was on the end of a lovely passing move to score a third try.

Oldham replied when winger Jon Gillam leapt to gather Neil Roden’s kick out wide to score an unconverted try but the Rams added a fourth score on the stroke of half-time.

Dewsbury again attacked down Oldham’s right and second row Dwayne Barker dummied his way over, with Spavin adding the conversion to put them 20-4 ahead.

The Rams also started the second half brightly as they looked to rack up the points.

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Full-back Darrell Olpherts has grabbed his chance in the first team with both hands following an injury to regular full-back James Craven.

Olpherts impressed on his senior debut at Featherstone the previous week and he was on hand to score a fine individual try, breaking from 60 metres out before outpacing the Oldham defence on a run to the line.

Five minutes later substitute Matty Nicholson darted over to score from acting half-back.

Spavin tagged on the conversion to make it 30-4 and it appeared the Rams were on course for a handsome win.

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However, they hadn’t accounted for an Oldham fightback as several players switched off.

Veteran half-back Roden began to dictate and he finished off a good move to score after 58 minutes and Oldham’s new scrum-half James Dallimore converted.

Roden then kicked through for Gillam to pounce for his second try and Dallimore again goaled.

Gillam was on the end of another flowing Oldham move to complete his hat-trick after 72 minutes and Dallimore’s goal really set the alarm bells going.

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Oldham came again and Roden put in another neat kick which was hacked on by Gillam for hooker John Clough to pounce in the in goal area.

Dallimore tagged on another fine goal to reduce the arrears to two points with two minutes left.

The Rams were left hanging on and were relieved to hear the final hooter to pick up a first win of the season.

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