Stags battle back to earn a draw with Oldham in Championship 1 thriller

Hemel Stags club crest
Hemel Stags club crest

Hemel Stags produced a dramatic second half fightback to secure a 20-20 draw with Oldham in a gripping Kingstone Press Championship 1 clash.

Oldham had opened up a 16-0 lead at the break as Danny Whitmore, Jason Boults and Dale Bloomfield all touched down for first half tries.

Hemel Stags earned a valuable draw with Oldham PNL-141003-141737002

Hemel Stags earned a valuable draw with Oldham PNL-141003-141737002

Hemel forced their way back into the contest with tries from Barry John Swindells and Aaron Small, but Kenny Hughes went over in the 68th minute to put Oldham back in control.

However, the Stags continued to battle and late tries from Essas Al-Zubaidi and James Hill ensured the game finished all square.

Hemel could, in fact, have snatched the win but stand-in kicker Ben Young saw his conversion attempt narrowly miss the posts from the right touchline.

At the heart of everything Hemel did well in the second half was stand-off Jy-Mel Coleman.

He controlled the second 40 once his forwards – inspired by giant prop Eddie Mbaraga – began to make ground in possession down the Whitebank slope.

To come back from 16-0 down at half-time and 20-12 with three minutes to go – especially after failing to register any points at home to Hunslet last week – shows the character that is in the Stags side.

While Hemel boss Troy Perkins will be lauding his side’s brave second-half fightback, Oldham coach Scott Naylor will still be wondering how his side were made to settle for a draw.

Next up for Stags is a Challenge Cup third round clash away at fellow Championship 1 side South Wales Scorpions on Sunday.

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