Sheffield Eagles 56 Oldham Roughyeds 16: Eagles’ flying start to Shield campaign

Eagles on their way to a great win over Oldham. Photo: Simon Hall
Eagles on their way to a great win over Oldham. Photo: Simon Hall

Sheffield Eagles kicked off their Championship Shield campaign with a comprehensive 56-16 victory over Oldham at Belle Vue.

An inspirational display from Jack Owens helped the Eagles to a deserved victory, with Elliot Minchella helping himself to a hat-trick as Mark Aston’s side passed 50 points for the second time this season.

The victory increases relegation fears for Oldham, as the likes of Paddy Flynn and Matty Fozard helped themselves to a brace of tries, with Owens also deadly with the boot.

After a fortnight away from action after their defeat to Dewsbury Aston was waiting for a response. So often maligned for their starts this season, there was to be no such failure this time around.

On seven minutes Flynn crossed the whitewash after a clever offload from Fozard, but Owens missed with the conversion.

After an Oldham spill the hosts made them pay soon after when the instrumental Owens provided a slick offload to Sam Scott for a second converted try.

Owens was heavily involved in the third score when he set Ryan Millar free and the full-back handed on to Minchella to complete the move. Owens added the extras.

Fozard was next to cross as the Eagles grabbed a fourth try which was again converted by Owens..

Oldham started to work their way into the game. After a sustained period of pressure they got on the board after a break from Matt Wilkinson resulted in a try, and soon after a converted score from ex-Eagle Dave Hewitt further reduced the deficit.

With the Roughyeds threatening a fight-back, the next try would be crucial and it went the way of Aston’s side when Owens took advantage of a failed attempt to intercept, picking up the loose ball to score, before converting his own try.

Owens out of the game, and he had a hand in the next try as his pin-point pass was taken by Flynn who crossed, but Owens couldn’t convert from the touchline.

Scott Wheeldon was next to score and with Ben Davies in the bin for the visitors, the Eagles took advantage with a second try for Minchella, again converted by Owens.

Late converted tries for Fozard and Minchella, the latter his hat-trick, put the icing on the cake, with a Kenny Hughes score sandwiched in between for the visitors.

* Eagles: Millar; Lo, Yere, Wellington, Flynn; Owens, Marginet; Wheeldon, Fozard, James; Scott, Straugheir; Minchella. Interchange: Burns, Trout, Whiteley, Mexico.

* Scorers: Tries: Flynn (7, 52), Scott (18), Minchella (21, 59, 80), Fozard (24, 74), Owens (45), Wheeldon (55) Goals: Owens 8/10

* Oldham: Hooley; Clay, Morris, Pearce-Paul, Williams; Hewitt, Grimshaw; Burke, Hughes, Adebiyi; Spencer, Thompson; Adamson. Interchange: Ward, Wilkinson, Gee, Davies.

* Scorers: Tries: Wilkinson (35), Hewitt (38), Hughes (77) Goals: Hooley 2/3