Cornwall RLFC


Cornwall RLFC 12 Oldham Roughyeds 32 – Match Report

August 22, 2022

Jake Lloyd in action for Cornwall against Oldham – Patrick Tod

Cornwall’s quest for a maiden victory on home soil will continue into 2023 after the Choughs were edged out by Oldham at the Mem. 

In a stereotypical game of two halves, Oldham kept their play-off hopes alive with a hard-fought victory over a Cornwall side which once again played with spirit and determination in front of 1,182 fans. 

With Cornwall dominating the opening 40 minutes, playing down the infamous Memorial Ground slope, Oldham scored right on the stroke of half time to shift the momentum towards Stuart Littler’s side.

The Rougyeds then went on to keep Cornwall pointless in the second stanza and scored five tries of their own with loose forward Emerson Whittel the visitors stand out performer.

Cornwall were boosted by the return of full-back Liam Whitton and winger Decarlo Trerise. Harry Aaronson returned to the wing while Jamie Prisk partnered Joe Purcell at half-back owing to Adam Rusling’s unavailability.

Up front, Josh Hartshorne was named in Cornwall’s starting line-up, but the front rower broke down in the warm up with a recurrence of a calf injury suffered against North Wales Crusaders two weeks ago.

Liam Whiton scores Cornwall’s first try against Oldham – Patrick Tod

This prompted a late reshuffle in the pack for Cornwall with Jake Lloyd, back after missing 14 weeks with an elbow injury, moving from interchange into the starting line-up. Eighteenth man Christopher Chard took Lloyd’s place on the bench. 

The game started so well for the Choughs and in the opening nine minutes, they restricted Oldham to just two carries of the football. Crucially, though, Cornwall could not make their superiority count and they did not go ahead until the 28th minute.

Before the opening score, former Oldham man Aaronson appeared to have scored after he profited on a ball spill to race 80 metres. However, merry whistle blower Nick Bennett pulled play back for a double knock-on.

After hammering away at Oldham’s line, the Roughyeds’ defensive door finally opened for Cornwall 12 minutes before half time when Whitton chimed into the three-quarter line to dot down. Purcell knocked over the extras and Cornwall were 6-0 ahead.

It got even better for Neil Kelly’s side five minutes before the break when Purcell gathered his own dab through to score. Another goal put Cornwall further ahead and seemingly in a commanding position.

Joe Purcell dots down for Cornwall’s second try against Oldham – Patrick Tod

The dynamic of the Choughs’ final match on home soil in 2022 changed when Dominic Newton barged over from close range in the dying embers of the first half.

Straight after the turnaround, Oldham levelled in identical circumstances when fellow interchange James Thornton crashed through and Martyn Ridyard added another conversion.

Cornwall were then handed a numerical advantage as Sean Slater was sent to the bin for a tip-tackle on Aaronson but crucially, the hosts couldn’t add further points when a man up.

The hosts worked a brilliant overlap but Aaron Jones-Bishop’s pass couldn’t find Trerise who would have had a stroll in. Then Prisk couldn’t keep control of the ball with the line beckoning.

With those chances not converted, when Oldham were back to a full complement, they took the lead just after the hour mark. Huddersfield centre Connor Carr, who is loan at Whitebank from the Super League outfit, reached out to dot down.

Brad Howe on the charge for Cornwall against Oldham – Patrick Tod

And then as the game approached its closing stages, Slater sniped away from dummy half to give Oldham some real breathing space. 

They then scored a carbon copy four minutes from time through Callum Cameron to make the points safe and break Cornwall’s brave resistance.

Gloss was put on a workmanlike Oldham showing as time ticked down through Owen Restall, playing out of position on the wing, who strode in out wide. Ridyard uncharacteristically missed the conversion but by this point, the Roughyeds were home and hosed.

For Cornwall, they will look back and think that this clash was perhaps a case of what might have been as Kelly and his troops pushed Oldham all the way, but ultimately didn’t have enough to gain a first win on home soil. 

Cornwall: Whitton, Trerise, Ashton, Jones-Bishop, Prisk, Purcell, Bodman, Conroy, Ray, Odgers, Beer, Lloyd. Interchange (all used): Bolger, Connolly, Howe, Chard.

Tries: Whitton, Purcell. Goals: Purcell: 2/2

Oldham: Morgan, Copland, Carr, Hartley, Restall, Ridyard, Butterworth, Coventry, Yarrow, Spencer, Muranka, Cameron, Whittel. Interchange (all used): Slater, Newton, Thornton, Cooke. 

Tries: Newton, Thornton, Carr, Slater, Cameron, Restall. Goals: Ridyard: 4/6

Sinbin: Slater (dangerous tackle)

Referee: Nick Bennett; Touch judges: Andrew Pilkington and Oliver Salmon; Reserve referee: Phil Johnson

Attendance: 1,182