Oldham 26 Whitehaven 18: Whitehaven were drawn back into the relegation dogfight as a lacklustre display saw them squander an early 12-point lead at Bower Fold.

Oldham Roughyeds took control and registered four unanswered tries to enter the break 20-12.

Although the error-strewn second half was even with a try apiece the onus was up to Haven to lift the tempo but they were not up to the task.

They will be glad to see the back of June after failing to register a single victory throughout the month.

There were five changes from last weeks admirable display at Featherstone, most of them forced. Craig Calvert was fit to return however, though Jordan Burns was unlucky to miss out after his fine solo try.

The French duo of Jouffret and Perez picked up knocks but seemed to be more than adequately replaced by Grant Gore and Stephen Fox.

Thomas Coyle was replaced at hooker by Liam Carberry, whose place on the bench was filled by James Newton, with Sam Brooks joining him instead of Ted Chapelhow.

Ted Chapelhow. Although the side looked just as strong on paper the long awaited return of play-maker Gore was a huge disappointment.

Head coach James Coyle confirmed after the game that he wasn’t fully fit and only played out of necessity.

The return of Fox looked to be huge boost early on as Haven stormed out of the blocks with two tries inside seven minutes.

First he raced under the posts after his side applied early pressure, then broke down the left minutes later to pass inside for Ryan Duffy to storm over.

Ed Chamberlain added the extras to both touchdowns and Whitehaven looked good value for their 12-point lead.

They continued to dominate and were looking good until the midway stage of the first period when thehome side came back into the game.

Jamel Chisholm used electrifying pace to scorch home off a good handling move as the ball was worked out to the left, then six minutes later Danny Langtree kicked through and beat full-back Jessie Joe Parker to the touchdown.

After being successful from the first try, Sam Wood’s conversion attempt hit the post and Haven were hanging on to a slender two point lead, which

didn’t last for long as Langtree went over again, holding off the challenge as he stormed under the posts from first receiver. Wood converted to move the Roughyedsinto a 16-12 lead.

Five minutes later Haven looked to be going back in front as Dion Aiye raced clear but was recalled for a forward pass earlier in the move.

Oldham rubbed salt into their wounds on the hooter after Haven knocked on near their line.

Loan signing Kieron Gill strolled over straight from the resulting scrum, and although Woods missed the conversion the visitors were left facing an uphill task in the second period with a 20-12 deficit.

Whitehaven had an outstanding chance to haul themselves back after the break when a trademark Dion Aiye long over-the-top pass looked destined for the unmarked Calvert with the line begging.

But opposing winger Adam Clay pulled off a remarkable overhead interception to foil the move.

That was their last chance until it was much too late, Oldham continued an error strewn period in which neither side looked like scoring, until a Kruise Leeming 40/20 brought them onto the Haven 10-metre line, with Calvert’s valiant effort to stop the ball going into touch proving unsuccessful.

From the resulting set giant prop Phil Joy brushed Dave Allen aside as

he forced his way over near the posts for Wood to convert and virtually seal the game.

Jessie Joe had the last word with a late touchdown as he danced his way through from 40 metres, although this was small consolation for a badly beaten side.

Oldham: Lepori, Clay, Gill, Wood, Chisholm, Grimshaw, Owen, Joy, Leeming, Burke, Briscoe, Langtree, Thompson Orsa. Subs: Foster, Spencer, Ward, Gee.

Tries: Chisholm (20), Langtree (26, 30), Gill (40), Joy (61); Goals: Wood (3/5).

Whitehaven: Parker, Ince, Chamberlain, Holliday, Calvert, Aiye, Gore, Duffy, Carberry, Walker, Fox, Allen, Brocklebank. Subs: Newton, Davies, Riley, Brooks.

Tries: Fox (4), Duffy (7), Parker (76); Goals: Chamberlain (3/3)

Referee: Mr Mikalauskas

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