Rugby Football League
Sunday 21st May 2017
Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.02
Oldham 28 Batley Bulldogs 48, attendance 578
@ Manchester Regional Athletics Arena
£2-50p Programme, 24 pages.
Oldham normally play their home matches at Bower Fold, home of Stalybridge Celtic F.C. Due to the pitch being re-seeded, they had switched this game to the Manchester Regional Athletics Arena, which has an all seated capacity of 6,500. I had previously been here for football, seeing Manchester City Reserves v Everton Reserves on 26th October 2004.
Oldham were up 10-4, before being pegged back to 10-10, then led 22-10, but were once again pegged back to go in level at halftime 22-22. Batley were well in control and after the 12 unanswered points at the end of the first half, they put on another 26 points without reply to comfortably lead 22-48. Having had a player red carded, they were finally breached as Oldham converted a last minute try.
So, this is now the seventh venue I have seen Oldham use to stage their home matches……Watersheddings, Ewen Fields (Hyde United F.C.), Boundary Park (Oldham Athletic F.C.), Surrey Street (Ashton United F.C.), Bloomfield Road (Blackpool F.C.) and Whitebank Stadium being the previous ones. Oddly, it is the third time that Batley were the visitors as they were the opposition for the games at Surrey Street and Bloomfield Road.