Bears lose out to formidable Oldham

 Bears Billy Sheen versus Oldham Roughyeds. Picture by David Murgatroyd.

Bears Billy Sheen versus Oldham Roughyeds. Picture by David Murgatroyd.

Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, Round 3.

Oldham Roughyeds 46 Coventry Bears 6.

Whitebank stadium, Oldham.

For the second week in a row, Coventry travelled to Oldham and once more faced a Roughyeds side that posed problems throughout the game. Oldhams pack were formidable once more but the Bears will also be disappointed that errors at key times gave the opposition a number of opportunities to capitalise on.

The Bears defence held firm for the first 17 minutes but it was an attacking kick that broke the deadlock as Oldham centre Sam Gee collected a Lewis Palfrey cross field kick to score wide on the left. The try was not converted but the Roughyeds were off to a start at 4-0.

Soon after this the Bears were under pressure once more and after giving a penalty away on the 5th tackle, for a late shoulder charge, Oldham had pressure on the line and Jarrod Ward scored a try out wide. Again the try was not converted but it was 8-0.

On the half hour mark, some strong runs and skilled footwork generated quick ball play where Oldham centre George Tyson took charge of the ball, wide, and stepped inside the covering defence. The try was converted by Palfrey to take it to 14-0.

Two more trys were scored by Oldham before halftime as Liam Thompson and Michael Ward both went over as the Oldham pack dominated the middle of the park. Palfrey converted to take the score to 26-0 at halftime.

Halftime score: Oldham Roughyeds 26 Coventry Bears 0

The second half kicked off with the Bears determined to get back into the game and it was Matt Cooper who powered over under the posts through a number of defenders to score. The try was converted by Stephen Coleman and the Bears were on the scoreboard.

But the Roughyeds were not finished yet and after 3 repeat sets in the Bears half, a strong Bears defence was cracked by a wide shift play which lead to a try in the corner by Adam Clay to take the score to 30-6. Try was not converted.

With 13 minutes now gone in the second half, Mick Learmonth scored after a Lewis Palfery chip kick which caught out the Bears cover defence taking the score to 36-6.

The Bears then kicked the ball out on the full and from the resulting set Oldham build pressure well and after defending 3 intense back to back sets and giving away another penalty, Jack Holmes scored on the right but was not converted. 40-6.

Unfortunately for the Bears another mistake at kick off led to Oldham running hard up the middle and after a quick shift wide to the right Oldham winger Adam Clay scored rounding off an impressive display from the Roughyeds. Lewis Palfery kicked the conversion to round off a man of the match performance.

Fulltime score:  Oldham Roughyeds 46 Coventry Bears 6

Bears Man of the match was named as Matt Cooper for his strong ball carrying and scoring the Bears only try.

Coventry Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented:

I thought similar to last week we went for long periods where we matched Oldham set for set, but any little mistake we made they made us pay. They have a very strong pack who all know their role very well. I'm disappointed though as we didn't help ourselves with our discipline and although Oldham deserved the win, at times we made it easy for them with sloppy unforced errors. We now have a few weeks off before the start of the league so will be working hard to make sure we learn from the last two games against a very good side.

Next Coventry Bears game will be the first Kingstone Press League One game of the season which will be versus Oxford on Good Friday April 3rd. Season tickets are still on sale at the Bears online shop

Bears team:

1. Billy Sheen

2. Troy Brophy

3. Stephen Coleman

4. Edward Medforth 

5. Jamahl Hunte 

6. Dan Poulton

7.Simon Phillips CAPTAIN

8.James Geurtjens

9.Alex Brown

10.John Aldred

11.Liam Thompson

12.Chris Barratt

13.Alex Calvert

14. Ben Tyers

15. Matt Cooper

16. Nick Taylor

17. Rob Meddows

Bears Media