Garstang Rugby Union men’s first XV were knocked out of the Lancashire Plate First Round after losing 13-17 to Oldham.
The game started off at a frantic pace and Oldham showed some impressive handling skills as they quickly spread the play out wide.
Oldham were the first team on the score sheet as host’s Garstang momentarily switched off and allowed the visitors to break through.
The initial surge was stopped but on the secondary play Oldham carved through the defensive line which had been pulled out of position.
Garstang came straight back at the opposition and minutes later they scored a superb try.
O’Brien and Slater made hard yards in midfield with their forward colleagues creating superb quick ball.
This created huge gaps out wide and Garstang moved it smartly down the line to enable Smeaton to go over in the corner to pull the score back to 5-7.
Oldham responded well to this setback and they added to their lead when another midfield break allowed them to go in under the posts for the second try, 5-14.
The second period saw the introduction of Coach Barton and he managed to up the intensity of the Garstang performance.
Garstang started to put together multiple phases of play straight from the training ground with Slater and Nickson in particular making some great breaks from set plays.
The pressure eventually told on the opposition defence and Garstang won a penalty under the posts which John Robinson converted to reduce the arrears to 14-8.
Garstang were now playing with much more structure and they soon scored their second try as the forwards again created the space in midfield before the ball was spread wide to allow Smeaton to go over for his second, 13-14).
With fifteen minutes to go the momentum was with Garstang but mistakes at crucial moments saw chances go begging.
With five minutes to play Oldham gained a penalty in the Garstang twenty-two and they took the opportunity to extend the lead to 13-17.
In the final few minutes Garstang had plenty of ball in the final third of the pitch but crucial mistakes and marginal decisions meant the game ended in defeat.
Oldham move into the quater-final and will face Burnley or Ormskirk.
And a spokesman for the club urged people to join them.
He said: “With a few key retirements and several injuries sustained in pre-season Garstang’s squad is stretched at the moment.
“And the club are actively looking to recruit players so that we will be able field two full squads when the 2nd XV campaign kicks off on September, 13.
“If anybody is interested in playing for the club or getting involved please contact us.”
If you want to join email: email@example.com