Oldham entertained Doncaster in the first semi-final in the Betfred Championship One play-offs, the winner going forwards into the promotion Grand Final and the loser having a final bite of the cherry next week against the winners of Newcastle and Workington.
Oldham had both home advantage, and that of a week off by virtue of them finishing the regular season in second place, six points ahead of this afternoons opponents. Doncaster came into the game on the back of an excellent performance at Newcastle last week when they overcame the odds to win todays chance.
The sides have met on three occasions in 2019 with Doncaster taking the spoils on the first two occasions, however, the last meeting was dominated by Oldham who recorded a 40-14 win. It really was anyones game.
The first two points of the game came from the boot of Paul Crook when Brandan Wilkinson was penalised for interference at the play the ball, just twenty from the Doncaster line.
Fantastic footwork from Dave Hewitt saw the Oldham scrum half step past the Doncaster defence to get the ball on the line and celebrate the first try of the game. Crook was able to add the extra two for an 8-0 lead.
Back to back penalties for Doncaster finally allowed them time in the Oldham half on twenty-two but they were unable to turn position into points as the Roughyeds defence held firm and they regained possession.
Jordie Hedges went close on twenty-seven but he was hauled down just short of the line, collecting an injury for his efforts which saw him helped from the field. Within a couple of minutes of the loss, a Rangi Chase kick was collected by Matty Beharrell who needed to take a couple of steps to ground under the uprights. The Doncaster scrum half converted his own try to get his side back within two points.
In the dying seconds Sam Doherty knocked on with the line begging, in deteriorating weather conditions, to shun the chance of giving Doncaster a half time lead.
Danny Langtree was somehow held up on the line by the Oldham defence but it was brief respite as two tackles later Emerson Whittel crashed the Doncaster line and got the ball on the ground after being fed through an inside pass from Hewitt. Crook added the conversion for 14-6.
On fifty-six a mix-up in the Doncaster defence after a deft kick through from Hewitt saw Crook pick up the bounding ball and ground. He added the extras to his own try as the home side started to edge out of sight at 20-6.
Crooks added a further penalty on sixty-three to maintain the pressure as Doncaster became increasingly frantic.
There was some late consolation for Doncaster when Wilkinson offload to Kyle Kesik to score. Beharrell added thge conversion but the visitors finished the game ten points adrift.
Oldhams defence held firm on a frustrating afternoon for Doncaster on the 4G pitch. Oldham eased themselves into the propotion play-off final with a robust and composed performance which condemns Doncaster to a home game against either Newcastle or Workington for the chance to come back to Oldham for the most crucial of deciders.
Oldham: Hawkyard, Kay, McComb, Leeming, Johnson, Crook (T, 4G), Hewitt (T), Joy, Owen, Law, Bridge, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Spencer, Wilkinson, Whittel (T), Beckett.
Doncaster: Howden, Doherty, Bower, Tali, Halliday, Chase, Beharrell (T, 2G), Spiers, Kesik (T), Nzoungou, Washbrook, Mariano, Wilkinson. Subs: Boyle, Brown, Hedges, Boas.
Referee: Liam Moore.