South Lancs/Cheshire League
Oswestry Eagles 20, Douglas 10
OSWESTRY secured the scalp of high-flying Douglas after being aided by two tries from Welsh Rugby League international Rob Massam as the rampaging centre returned to help maintain the Eagles unbeaten home record.
Seventh placed Oswestry never looked like conceding a first defeat at Granville Park this season as their measured performance stunned the visitors who lost ground on leaders Sefton for only the second time this season.
Massam's tries were supplemented by one from Andy Merritt who continued his fine form in recent weeks to secure the win although the Eagles had to resist a spirited fight-back from their Isle of Man counterparts late in the game.
After a topsy-turvy opening 15 minutes which included a missed Douglas penalty, Massam benefited after Oswestry broke out of defence with the ball being spread to the Welshman on halfway.
Massam side-stepped his man to fly down the left wing and touch the ball down despite being under considerable pressure from the chasing Douglas defence.
With the Oswestry forwards winning good ball the Eagles took every opportunity to pressurise the visiting defence and after Douglas attempted to break the shackles by punting the ball downfield, the Granville Park side returned it with interest with Gareth Hughes feeding Massam who broke two tackles and got back to his feet to run in his second of the afternoon.
With Oswestry's own defence in resilient mood Douglas were caught offside early in the second-half allowing Chris Crutchley to put more points on the board, and despite the best efforts of the visitors they were unable to breach the Eagles back line before Merritt received the ball and was able to sail through the gap to score after more concerted Oswestry pressure.
Crutchley added the conversion but Douglas finally managed to get themselves on the scoreboard when they struck twice inside the final ten minutes to register two tries of their own, but they still failed to take the shine off an impressive Eagles performance.
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