Haydock are the first ever eighth tier side to reach the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and today they visited Bower Fold in Oldham to take on Championship side Oldham Roughyeds for a place in the sixth round, and a chance of meeting a Super League side.
Oldham are currently in the bottom half of the Championship table with one win and one draw from five games this season but were odds on favourites to beat the only remaining National Conference side left in the competition, a full six divisions below them in the league structure.
The visitors started the game kicking down the slope and just four minutes into the game and they opened the scoring when Jordan Gibson jinked his way over the line after the visitors were gifted six extra tackles when Oldham held on for too long in the tackle. The conversion attempt went wide but is was a superb start.
When Oldham knocked on from a kick through, Dean Dollin went on the angle to the right corner flag from first receiver to slide over in the mud under the Oldham tackle. Again, the kick drifted wide of the target for an 8-0 start.
Twenty minutes in and Oldham finally got in for their first try of the afternoon when Richard Lepori found some space to evade the Haydock defence. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Four consecutive sets on the Haydock line were too much for the Yickers as Michael Ward pushed his way over the line from short range. Scott Leatherbarrow added the conversion from under the sticks and with thirty minutes on the clock the Roughyeds had a 10-8 lead. After a brace start from Haydock the tide was turning in favour of the home side.
Jordan Gibson added to the woes of Haydock on thirty-one after repeat offences tested the referees patience.
On thirty-three George Tyson scored their third unanswered try as he slid over. Leatherbarrow was again successful with the kick and after the early Haydock flurry, the Roughyeds were now taking control at 16-8
Just before the interval and a solo run from centre Danny Grimshaw saw him step past the Haydock winger to cross. Leatherbarrow was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt for a half time score of 20-8.
Four minutes after the interval and a Leatherbarrow grubbed under the sticks was grounded by Lepori for his second of the afternoon. Leatherbarrow added the extras for 26-8 and the Roughyeds were edging towards victory.
On fifty-two, and with Haydock tiring, Joe Burke went in, the sixth unanswered Oldham try. Leatherbarrow's boot made it 32-8.
Kieron Gill was next on the scoresheet as he showed good pace before sliding over by the left corner flag. Leatherbarrow failed to convert from wide.
The final Oldham try came five minutes from time when winger Adam Clay found space to go over in the corner for 40-8 but just as they had opened the scoring so they finished it when full back Steven Jones managed to find his way to the line just before the final hooter. Both kicks were missed for a final scoreline of 40-12.
In the end it was a confident and comprehensive win for Oldham but all credit to Haydock who had a brilliant opening twenty minutes and who threatened a shock in the early stages of the game. It's Oldham who make it into Tuesdays draw for the fifth round after Haydock's afternoon in the limelight.
Lepori (2T), Clay (T), Grimshaw (T), Gill (T), Chisholm, Leatherbarrow (4G), Hewitt, Neal, Owen, Davies, Langtree, Tyson (T), Spencer. Subs: Gee, Burke (T), Ward (T), Hughes.
Jones (T), James, Dollin (T), Travena, Lee, Gibson (T, SB), Bacon, Anderton, Sexton M., Brown, Gee, Smith, Sexton R. Subs: Johnson, Cheetham, Braithwaite, Davies.