Rugby League: Sibson settles Oldham nerves

Oldham 23 Rochdale Hornets 20

OLDHAM CELEBRATED their return to their home town by winning an absorbing contest, but their former landlords came close to ruining it for them.

Back at Boundary Park after an uncomfortable exile in Rochdale, Oldham led for most of the game but only clinched two points to launch their campaign in the Northern Ford Premiership in the last few minutes. The scores were tied at 20-20 and Hornets had already failed to break the deadlock with two drop goal attempts when Anthony Gibbons, one of 10 new signings in the Oldham starting line-up, put one over to give them a single- point lead.

Dane Dorahy, who had an intriguing battle all afternoon with Oldham's player-coach, Mike Ford, came close to putting over an equaliser, but Oldham sealed it when Gavin Price-Jones stuck out an instinctive arm to tackle Mark Campbell high and Mark Sibson landed the penalty.

Rochdale had taken an early lead with a soft try when Darren Robinson squirmed over from dummy half, but their discipline let them down as Oldham built a healthy first-half lead. Ford's sleight of hand set Wes Rogers over for the equaliser and Price-Jones' knock-on from Ford's kick surrendered the possession from which Campbell claimed Oldham's second try.

When John Hough forced his way over and Sibson added his third goal, Oldham were well in control, but Rochdale's recovery before and after half-time showed that they too could be an improving side this season. Lee Hudson scored one try and set up another with an inside ball to Chris Newall, who then provided the pass for the try from Scott Martin that put Hornets ahead.

But Sibson soon levelled the scores with a penalty after Ford's scuttle had caught Rochdale offside, and Oldham, backed by the sort of crowd that would soon put the club on a firm footing, kept their heads the better in the final minutes.

"I am proud of the way my players came back, but if their discipline in the first half had been as good as in the second, I don't think Oldham would have got near us," said Rochdale's new coach, Steve Linnane, who complained that the referee had missed a blatant trip by Leo Casey on Dorahy that could have given his side a match-winning penalty.

Ford, after a tireless personal display, rated this as "a vital win". He said: "It was very, very tense at the end, but we can only get better. It was only our second game together."

Oldham: Sibson; Hayes, A Gibbons, Rich, McNicholas; D Gibbons, Ford; Casey, Hough, Proctor, Campbell, Rogers, O'Reilly. Substitutes used: Clegg, Mannion, Holland.

Rochdale Hornets: Wilde; Hudson, Martin, Cooper, Price-Jones; Wood, Dorahy; Sculthorpe, Robinson, McMenemy, McKinney, Derose, Newall. Substitutes used: Moore, Cameron, Waring, Bunce.

Referee: C Morris (Huddersfield).

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

PPA Supply Teachers

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prima...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per annum: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prim...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?