Rochdale RUFC 55 v 7 Hoylake RUFC After a disappointing performance at Liverpool last week Dale bounced back with a thrashing of bottom club Hoylake. The afternoon started with the opening of the new balcony extension dedicated to five young players lost in recent years. Family and friends were amongst the 100 plus guests at a pre-match lunch. A blustery wet afternoon Dale started with confidence and were always testing the Hoylake defence with some good attacking moves and the pack dominating with Shaun Needham and Tom Callaghan leading the way. The backs were soon spreading the play to either wing and following a break down the left it was Needham following up who crossed the line for the first try the conversion attempt from Ollie Coldman was blown back by the swirling wind 5-0.
From the re-start the wind took the ball straight into touch Dale took the scrum on half way and the ball was moved smoothly from Dom Serridge to James Duffy and out to winger Matt Buckley to score in the corner again the kick failed to reach the posts 10-0 after 10 minutes. Coldman was soon back in the attack linking well with Duffy and Ross Hartley he went in for a fine try but still no conversion 15-0.
Minutes later after a great run through the shaken Hoylake defence by Jimmy Flitcroft, Coldman was again on hand to burst through and score in the corner this time his conversion is true and the score moves on to 22-0 with 25 minutes gone. Hoylake who thus far had not created much got a free kick and won the line out on the Dale 22 a neat passing move saw their centre cross the line for a converted try 22-7.
This score only stung Dale into more aggressive attacking play and soon it was a break by Coldman with great confidence and good inter passing with Duffy that led to the 4th bonus securing try and the conversion made it 29-7 in the 35th minute. Dale weren’t through yet and after a good relieving kick from Duffy the return high into the swirling wind was taken perfectly by Flitcroft who cut through the Hoylake defence to the visitors 22 before releasing Alex Isherwood to score a fine try well converted by Coldman to make the half time score 36-7 to a rampant Dale.
A deep kick into the Dale 22 Coldman fired a huge kick back to the visitors 22 yard line, the line out was stolen at the end of the line by Callaghan and the ball came to Needham on the rampage who tried an outrageous overhead pass which found the sprinting prop Harry Hill his moment of glory spoilt by the referee’s whistle for a forward pass. Dale win the resulting scrum against the head and the ball goes along the line for young winger Buckley to score his 2nd try. 41-7.
Coach Danny Collins decides to ring the changes in the pack and on came Ben Coulter and Jack [Spud] Green in the front row. Hoylake win a penalty on the Dale 22 and go for the line out Dale defence holds firm and the visitors give a penalty away for not releasing the ball , Dale win the scrum and another powerful run by Needham ends with a penalty for a high tackle on the 10 metre line from the line out good quick ball sees Dale with numbers on the left side but a quick inside pass from Duffy releases Spud Green to just stretch over for a good forwards try converted by Coldman 48-7 after 65 mins.
The game ebbed and flowed in the next period dropped passes and poor kicks slowed play down, try as they might Hoylake could not cope with the fitter and more powerful Dale defence and counter attack. Extreme measures from Ross Hartley in the thick of it as ever as he tried a grubber kick to release the backs which went all of 5 yds. Tempers overflowed at the ruck on the visitors 10 metre line and following a quick tap and go by Duffy, a short inside pass to Green and the young prop went over for his 2nd and Dale’s ninth try a final conversion by Coldman saw his personal tally rise to 25 points and a final score of 55-7.
A good all round performance with Needham and Coldman starring but the whole team were a credit and should be ready for a much stiffer challenge away to Bowdon next Saturday.