Rugby League: One-way traffic after Adelaide's late start
Oldham 2 Adelaide 18
Saturday 26 July 1997
Oldham were unable to recapture the spark of that performance against opponents who did well to overcome the disruption of their journey from their base in Leeds.
A wholesale snarl up on the road system across the Pennines saw Adelaide arrive late and frazzled after a journey which compared unfavourable with that from Australia.
When the game kicked off an hour late, it was understandable that the Rams should take a while to find their feet, going behind to a Luke Goodwin penalty in the process.
When they settled to the task, however, it was they who looked the more positive side, scoring the first try after 14 minutes. A driving run from the Papa New Guinea forward Bruce Mamando set up the position for Danny Grimley to cover over for a try converted by Luke Williamson.
Mamando almost had a second Adelaide try before half-time, but lost the ball trying to touch down as Oldham continued to struggle to get into the game.
Adelaide did not even go off the field at half-time, perhaps wary of losing their way again. On the restart, it was again the Rams who were the more threatening side, with only desperate defence keeping out Wayne Simonds after another attack begun by Mamando.
Oldham's luck could not last and, with some of their tacklers possibly distracted by a fight between Kurt Wrigley and Howard Hill, they were taken apart by a move in which Simonds and Kevin Campion set up Steve Stone.
Oldham's best chance of the match went begging soon after when Paul Topping could not take a return pass from Paul Davidson.
There was another false alarm when Matt Munro touched down from Martin Crompton's high kick only for the try to be disallowed for Crompton's knock-on.
The chances they had created had been few and those had all been wasted. Having soaked up the pressure, a well-organised Adelaide broke away for the try that put the result beyond doubt 10 minutes from time, Jason Donnolly serving it up on a platter for Simonds .
By 10.15, as this late, late show drew towards its end, Oldham were wishing that the Rams had never arrived.
Oldham: Atcheson; Leuila, Hill, Goodwin, Jones; Maloney, Crompton; Goldspink, Clarke, Jilvert, Faimalo, Davidson, Russell. Substitutes used: Topping, Lord, Munro, Stephenson.
Adelaide: Wrigley; Simonds, Kiri, Grimley, Donnolly; Williamson, Topper; Hick, Stone, Cann, Campion, Mamando, Boughton. Substitutes used: Schifiliti, Paiyo, Galea, Blair.
Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).
n The First and Second Division Clubs' Association met at Dewsbury yesterday to discuss a merger with the amateur game, a move seen as paving the way for an end to summer rugby after just two seasons.
The clubs agreed to proceed with unification talks with the British Amateur Rugby League Association, but made it clear there would be no U-turn on summer rugby.
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