Bears lose 2nd round clash
Kingstone Press League One Round 2
Oldham Roughyeds 38 Coventry Bears 10
Whitebank Stadium, Oldham, Sunday 12th April.
Coventry Bears travelled to Oldham for the second game of the season after last weeks jubilant start versus Oxford. For the third time in five weeks the Bears found the game another challenge in horrible wet conditions but can take a lot of positives away knowing the result was an improvement on the last two outings and have a lot to build on going forward.
Oldham opened scoring on 10 minutes when second row Jack Holmes scored on the right after good work downhill and quick play. Oldham 4 Bears 0.
The Bears were coming up the hill and struggled to complete sets with decisive kicks. This allowed Oldham to gain easy field position and build pressure well on the Bears. It wasn't long until Oldham crossed again and Holmes was on hand yet again to land on a grubber kick by Steve Roper on 17 minutes. Roper converted and it was Oldham 10 Bears 0.
For the next 10 minutes the Bears tried hard to get back into the arm wrestle but it was Oldham again who scored through powerful forward Michael Ward as he went over on the right. The try was converted by Roper and it was 16 to 0.
There were two more tries before half time by centres Ford and Ashton on the left and right respectively one converted by Roper to take the Half time score to 26 to 0. The Bears struggling to deal with the onslaught down the hill as clearing their lines proved difficult.
Half time Oldham Roughyeds 26 Coventry Bears 0.
The second half started in similar vain as the Oldham pack got easy yards and a quick play allowed Richard Joy to cross close to the posts. Roper converted to make it 32 to 0. The Bears needed to find something inside them and thankfully the pack responded well as Matt Reid scored from a clever grubber from Billy Sheen and the Bears were on the score board. The try was converted by Stephen Coleman and it was 32 to 6.
The Coventry side started to find their feet despite the wet conditions, and after some good play from the right side from Chris Barratt, Eddie Medforth and Connor Robinson, Josh Guzdek forced his way over from a quick play the ball. Oldham 32 Bears 10.
The final quarter was quite defensive after both sides coughed up the ball and possession changed hands a number of times due to the conditions. The Bears looked threatening at times but Oldham scored again under the posts through second row Josh Johnson which was converted by Roper to round off a victory that they will be very happy with.
Final score Oldham Roughyeds 38 Coventry Bears 10.
Bears man of the match was Chris Barratt for a tireless effort in both attack and defence.
Coventry: Troy Brophy, Josh Guzdek, Eddie Medforth, Dan Parker, Jamahl Hunte, Billy Sheen, Matthew Marsh, James Geurtjens, Alex Brown, Tom Hall, Liam Thompson, Chris Barratt, Simon Phillips (Captain) Interchange: Connor Robinson, Matt Cooper, Matt Reid, Stephen Coleman
Coventry Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented after the match:
The scoreline was disappointing today. We came into the game confident after a good result last week but we were our own worst enemy in the first half. The difference between the two sides was the kicking game - we were completing our sets but putting in very poor kicks to finish meaning no pressure on Oldham's back three. Oldham on the other hand kept us pinned back near our own try line. Also we coughed up the ball in bad areas of the field and Oldham taught us the lesson that at this level you will get punished for making those types of errors. On the positive side we were much better in the second half the times we did have good field position we looked threatening. If we can put ourselves in those positions more often we will be dangerous for many teams. We will look to improve massively for next Sunday's match up with Hemel at home.