Garstang rugby lose out to Oldham

Grahame Slater is seen carrying the ball in a game that ended with Garstang losing 17-13 and Oldham moving onto the Quarter-Final to play Burnley or Ormskirk.
Grahame Slater is seen carrying the ball in a game that ended with Garstang losing 17-13 and Oldham moving onto the Quarter-Final to play Burnley or Ormskirk.

Garstang 13-17 Oldham

Lancashire Plate First Round

Garstang came into this game on the back of a promising pre-season, which had seen them win one and narrowly lose one against two teams from a higher league.

With this in mind the team went into the game full of optimism and they were confident that progression into the next round was on the cards.

The game started off at a frantic pace and Oldham showed some impressive handling skills as they quickly spread the play out wide.

However, Garstang are a physical outfit these days and the defensive line was easily able to snuff out the threat.

Garstang came into this game on the back of a promising pre-season, which had seen them win one and narrowly lose one against two teams from a higher league.

With this in mind the team went into the game full of optimism and they were confident that progression into the next round was on the cards.

Garstang soon got their hands on the ball though and they were playing with an intensity which was stretching the committed Oldham defence.

Nothing came of their first period of pressure but it was clear that these two teams were evenly matched and the winner would be the side who took their chances when presented to them.

Oldham were the first team on the score sheet as Garstang momentarily switched off and allowed Oldham 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(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 and pull them out of the malaise that they had been suffering.

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(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 that they could not get the decisive score.

The game ended with Garstang losing 17-13 and Oldham moving onto the Quarter-

Final to play Burnley or Ormskirk.

John O’Brien won the Man of the Match Award for a great performance which saw him making serious yards with ball in hand throughout the afternoon. Next Saturday the team kick off their league campaign when they travel to play

Ashton-under-Lyne in North Lancs One, KO 15:00.

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 email joinus@garstangrugby.com