Cornwall RLFC


Oldham 46 Cornwall 10 – Match Report

April 15, 2024

Morgan Punchard in action for Cornwall – SWPix

Cornwall put in a valiant showing against title favourites Oldham with Cian Tyrer bagging a four-timer for the Roughyeds.

Playing their first game for three weeks, the Choughs were very much in the game for large parts against an Oldham outfit who blew Hunslet away 62-0 seven days ago.

In a tight opening 20 minutes, Cornwall only trailed 6-4 with Harry Aaronson scoring for the visitors – his third try in as many games.

But Oldham took control to lead 26-4 at the interval before Tom Ashton kept Cornwall on the home side’s coat tails with the first try of the second stanza, converted by Cameron Brown.

The game was intriguingly poised at this stage but Oldham found another gear as the proceedings wore on to score five further tries to keep their 100 per cent league record intact.

Cornwall chief Mike Abbott made one change to the side which lost 40-16 to North Wales Crusaders in the side’s last outing. New signing Bailey Black replaced Kaine Dimech in the starting line-up with the Maltese international dropping to interchange.

This prompted a positional reshuffle with Brown reverting to full back and Black partnering Morgan Punchard in the halves. Darcy Simpson returned to his more familiar second-row berth as Coby Nichol moving to centre.

The side was skippered by David Weetman with Adam Rusling missing out due to the leg gash he suffered against Keighley in round one.

On the interchange bench, there was a place for Nathan Conroy, who joined Cornwall for a second spell before the side’s trip to Lancashire.

In a history-making clash, which saw female official Tara Jones take charge of a Northern Hemisphere club game for the first time, Cornwall started brightly and, in the side’s very first set, Ashton broke the line and got the visitors in range.

Tara Jones took charge yesterday – SWPix

But shipping successive penalties, Oldham marched up the field and their captain Jordan Turner crossed out wide and Danny Craven converted.

Many of the four-figure crowd inside Boundary Park expected the floodgates to open at this stage but Cornwall dug in and went set-for-set with the Rougyeds.

Black, who impressed on his Cornwall bow dabbed behind for Phoenix Lalua-Togaga’e to run dead before Jordan Turner was held up over the line as the game ebbed and flowed.

Eventually Cornwall did score after Oldham conceded a penalty and a six-again in quick succession. In a virtual carbon-copy of his try against North Wales, Punchard’s looping, long pass, found Aaronson who finished brilliantly out wide.

Brown missed with extras but Cornwall were up and running.

But no sooner had the Choughs gained a foothold in the match, they let Oldham back in as the restart was fumbled and Sean Long’s side had the ball back.

Tyrer made Cornwall pay with his first of the afternoon before Craven scooted over from close to the visitors’ line.

Oldham went for broke at this point but Cornwall stood firm as Jordan Turner was held up over the line and Lalua-Togaga’e ran the ball on the last, but couldn’t score.

As half-time approached, Brown broke from deep in his own half but was cut down by the home defence. The game was stopped due to an Oldham injury and when play restarted, Cornwall coughed up the ball in midfield.

Jordan Turner picked up the scraps and eventually fed Tyrer who went over for his second of the afternoon.

Being 26-4 at the break was perhaps harsh on Cornwall after their endeavours in the opening stanza, but the away side started the second half in positive fashion.

In the first set after the turnaround, Punchard’s high bomb saw Lalua-Togaga’e and Mackenzie Turner collide, the ball was knocked forward and Cornwall had regained possession.

They made Oldham pay, too, with Black and Brown linking brilliantly before the latter fed Ashton who powered over. Brown nailed a wonderful conversion from the sideline to bring Cornwall right back into contention.

Tom Ashton scores against Oldham – SWPix

From the restart, Oldham kicked the ball out on the full but the hosts were the next to score. Jordan Turner ran on the last tackle and he found Tyrer who duly completed his hat-trick.

However, the try came at a cost to both teams as Decarlo Trerise was forced off with a suspected dislocated shoulder and Jordan Turner limped from the field.

For the next 10 minutes or so, the game became somewhat scrappy with both sides guilty of errors but Cornwall, for the most part, matched Oldham.

But in the final 15 minutes, Oldham took advantage of the Choughs getting on the wrong side of referee Jones to score three further tries.

Mackenzie Turner, playing against the club he served on loan for a brief spell in 2022, showed blistering pace to score and then Tyrer bagged his fourth of the afternoon, following a barnstorming run from prop Craig Kopcazk.

The scoring was completed by Lalua-Togaga’e, whose running from deep caused Cornwall problems all afternoon, and despite visiting appeals for crossing, Oldham were in for a ninth and final time.

Cornwall: Brown, Aaronson, Nichol, Ashton, Mitchell, Punchard, Black, Ross, Collins, Boots, Cullen, Simpson, Weetman. Interchange: (all used) Dimech, Conroy, Trerise, Lloyd

Tries: Aaronson (17), Ashton (42)

Goals: Brown 1/2

Oldham: Lalua-Togaga’e, Tyrer, Morgan, J Turner, M Turner, Craven Astley, Kopcazk, Aldridge, Farnworth, Gallagher, Lawton, J Chapelhow. Interchange: (all used) Paga, T Chapelhow, Johnson, Taylor.

Tries: J Turner (4), Tyrer (19, 35, 50, 66) Craven (24), Lalua-Togaga’e (38, 69), M Turner (62),

Goals: Craven 2/4, Tyrer 3/5

Referee: Tara Jones

Attendance: 1,136