Broncos have bad news for Goodway
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 02 April 1997
Oldham 22 London Broncos 32
An untidy game at Boundary Park last night resolved itself in the final quarter to leave London Broncos as one of four teams setting the pace in Super League, while Oldham remain stuck at the bottom without a point.
For most of match there was not the difference between the sides that suggested almost a full league table separating them, but Oldham were ultimately undone by a lack of conviction when forced to defend their try-line.
Oldham began well. Within two minutes the Australian Brett Goldspink found a gap in the massed ranks of his countrymen and presented the supporting Paul Atcheson with a simple drive and Francis Maloney an equally easy conversion.
The lead was short-lived, Steve Rosolen going in from Peter Gill's pass and Terry Matterson landing both his conversion and a 40-yard penalty.
Oldham's defensive weakness was exposed again when Russell Bawden forced his way over from a play-the-ball, but London's momentum was slowed when their hooker, Robbie Beazley, was sent to the sin-bin for holding on in the tackle.
With Beazley off the field, Oldham extracted a further punishment, Atcheson racing in for his second. A break from Beazley on his return, and a holding- down penalty that saw Paul Davidson replace him in the sin-bin, allowed Matterson to end a scrappy half by kicking Broncos back into the lead.
That advantage was soon overturned by a glorious individual try from Maloney, whose good work was quickly undone when Beazley went over and Josh White skipped through.
Yet Oldham could still put the occasional incisive move together, with Martin Crompton sending in David Bradbury.
Any doubts about the destination of the two league points were settled, however, when Matterson sent Paul Smith striding away down the left with 10 minutes remaining. It will be the movements of the Oldham coach, Andy Goodway, that will be watched with interest this week, after his recent threat to resign if matters do not improve.
Oldham: Atcheson; Ranson, Abram, Neal, Myler; Maloney, Crompton; Gildart, Clarke, Goldspink, Davidson, Faimalo, Lord. Substitutes used: Bradbury, Hill, McKinney, Goodwin.
London Broncos: Martin; Roskell, Krause, Smith, Maguire; Spencer, White; Bawden, Beazley, Mestrov, Rosolen, Gill, Matterson. Substitutes used: Edwards, Dunford, Tollett.
Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).
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