Cornwall vs Oldham – Match Report
August 6, 2023
Cornwall’s recent good run of form was ended abruptly by Oldham who started life under temporary head coach Mike Ford in clinical fashion with a 56-4 triumph.
The Choughs came into this home clash on the back of three wins from four games in July whilst Oldham had dispensed with the services of Stuart Littler earlier this week, as their promotion push had stuttered in previous games.
But led by evergreen playmaker Martyn Ridyard, with Connor Carr crossing the whitewash four times, Oldham are now seemingly back on track as Cornwall’s faint hopes of reaching the play-offs are all but mathematically over.
The home side’s hopes were not helped by Adam Rusling’s unavailability and leading try scorer Cameron Brown pulling out at the 11th hour after he failed to shake off a stomach bug. Tom Ashton (shoulder) wasn’t fit enough for a place in the matchday squad while Harry Boots, who was outstanding in victory over North Wales last time out, was nursing a knee injury and was named as 18th man.
This forced Mem chief Mike Abbott into a number of changes which saw Jake Lloyd play in the halves alongside Morgan Punchard and George Mitchell occupied one of two wing berths.
Playing up the Memorial Ground slope in the first half, Oldham drew first blood after just four minutes when Ridyard’s kick in behind was weighted perfectly and Carr did the rest.
But the hosts hit back almost straight away when Penryn’s very own Mitchell crashed over out wide for his first try in Cornwall colours. Punchard, like Ridyard after Carr’s opener, could not add the extras.
Cornwall then failed to gather the restart safely and they were made to pay by Joe Hartley and this time Ridyard did find the mark. A third try after 15 minutes from Callum Cameron from close range gave the visitors some breathing space and they never looked back.
Carr, who looked threatening every time he was in range for the Roughyeds then doubled his tally before centre partner Kian Morgan got in on the scoring act just shy of the half hour mark.
Cornwall then had a sniff when Carr, who was in the thick of the action throughout, was sent to the sinbin by referee Aaryn Belafonte for a tip tackle on Coby Nichol.
The hosts couldn’t make their extra man count due to a series of handling errors and just before the break, George Hirst’s try put Oldham into what appeared to be an unassailable position.
First blood after the break was drawn by Oldham’s Nick Rawsthorne before Sean Slater darted over for a trademark dummy-half score.
The game then descended into a scrappy affair as errors crept in from both sides. Tempers also boiled over as the hour mark approached when visiting interchange Pat Moran appeared to punch Cornwall’s outstanding hooker Luke Collins. However, merry whistle blower Mr Bealfonte, after consultation with his two touch judges, just awarded a penalty to Cornwall, with no further action taken.
The resulting penalty saw Cornwall fail to turn a promising position into points and shortly after, with 18 minutes left, KIeran Tyrer, on loan from Super League giants Wigan Warriors finished off a fine flowing move for Oldham’s ninth try.
Cornwall kept plugging away and debutant Callum Abbott, with his very first touch, thought he had scored but was pulled back by the official for offside.
Then, as time ticked down, Carr grabbed two further tries to hoist Oldham over the 50-point mark.
Cornwall: Whitton, Mitchell, Croston, Nichol, Scurr, Lloyd, Punchard, Newbound, Collins, E Badham, Cullen, Weetman, Dimech. Interchange: (all used) Barraclough, I Badham, Trerise, C Abbott.
Tries: Mitchell (6)
Goals: Punchard 0/1
Sinbin: Nichol (75) – high tackle
Oldham: McNally, Rawsthorne, Carr, Morgan, Hartley, Ridyard, Tyrer, Meadows, Wilkinson, Johnson, Hirst, Cameron, Whittel. Interchange: (all used) Slater, Ah Van, Moran, Blagborough
Tries: Carr (4,23,75,79), Hartley (10), Cameron (15), Morgan (28), Hirst (38), Rawsthorne (46), Slater (56), Tyrer (62),
Goals: Ridyard 6/11
Sinbin: Carr (32) – tip tackle
Referee: Aaryn Belafonte