Action pictures can be purchased from photographer Mike McKenzie
Racking up the Points
Sept 10 2006
THE Recreation Ground fell silent to pay tribute to one of its favourite sons, John James McKeown, who died last week.
The legend, who scored over 1,000 points for the club, was reckoned by many to be the greatest player ever to pull on the chocolate, blue and gold, and the minutes silence to honour him was impeccably observed by the 1,764 strong crowd.
JJ, who played in the clubs' first ever game back in 1948, would have been impressed by the clubs current charges, who paid their own 12 try tribute to great man.
Racking up 66 points against any opposition is a good way to finish the season.
But in truth Haven will have to improve in the play-offs, where they will face far sterner tests the divisions whipping boys Oldham were able to give them.
The scoring started as early as the second minute, Rob Jackson racing onto a flat pass from John Duffy and ignoring calls from Craig Calvert on his outside to out strip the Oldham defence and score ion the corner, Carl Rudd obliged with a tricky touchline conversion.
The visitors had hardly had time to gather their thoughts and Jackson was in again (4).
This time he exploded onto a ball from David Fatialofa and raced away for his second try in the space of four minutes. Rudd again added the extras as some of the visiting fans must have started to wonder why they'd made the long trip north.
Whitehaven themselves were guilty of thinking they would run up a cricket score, and some indecision gave the visitors their first taste of the action with a scrum close to the Haven posts. Phil Farrell picked the ball up at its base and fed Paul Ashton.
With Haven defenders standing idle Aston darted over the whitewash to offer hope to the visitors. He failed to convert his own score. Oldham were offering little in attack or defence but Whitehaven's insistence on playing Globetrotter rugby meant that time and again passes went to ground and the visitors were let off the hook.
Craig Calvert, in particular, was guilt of letting try scoring chances slip by but he was not the only. With all the fancy-dan passing and forced off-loads it was ironic that the next try came the first time Haven kept it simple. Aaron Smith backed himself to go from acting half back and had the strength to force his way over the line. Rudd missed this time with the conversion. Two minutes later Haven were in again, Craig Calvert finally making the most of a chance when Rob Jackson unselfishly put him in in the corner, Rudd was again wide of the mark with the conversion. The duo linked up again when Jackson, who was running Oldham ragged, made a superb break and then spread the ball to Calvert, who got over the whitewash for his second try, Rudd missed the conversion,
The game was put to bed when, in the 38th minute, Derrie Eilbeck went on a mazy run from 20 metres out and touched down near the posts, Rudd added the extras.
The visitors emerged late from the dressing room for the second half and must have wished they had not emerged at all when only a minute in, Leroy Joe scored yet another Haven try.
A combination of strong running from Howard Hill and sloppy tacking from the Oldham defence allowed Hill to charge through three, he then got the ball away to John Duffy who made a half break, going into space before releasing Joe on his inside. Rudd again added the extras.
Oldham have endured a dreadful season of injured, and two of the substitutes they named for this game, Gareth Barber and Mark Roberts, were not fit to take any part.
With a two man bench they were always going to find it tough, and their cause was not helped with Dean Gorton was sin-binned on 55 minutes for laying on.
Gorton was the fifth or sixth Oldham player guilty of slowing play down, and could have little complaint as he was sent to the dug-out.
On 56 minutes Greame Mattinson sparked into life, making a break from halfway and the releasing Duffy when faced by Oldham full back Desi Williams.
Duffy scored under the posts and Rudd added a simple two pointer.
Next it was the turn of Haven prop Neil Baynes to get his name on the scoresheet.
Basher Baynes bulldozed his way over the whitewash on 63 minutes and Rudd added the extras.
Six minutes later Duffy got his second, making a superb jinxing run to get clear of the defence before touching down, Rudd made it good.
On 75 minutes Spencer Miller got the try that his all action man-of-the-match performance had deserved, finishing off after yet another Duffy break for a try which Rudd converted.
There was just time for one more Duffy break, this time the talented scrum half ghosted through the defence and, somewhat unselfishly considering he was on a hat-trick, passed the ball to Mark Leafa after he had got over the line. Rudd converted again.
Teams; Haven, Gary Broadbent, Craig Calvert, Rob Jackson, Derrie Eilbeck, Steve Maden, Leroy Joe, John Duffy, Steve Trindall, Aaron Smith, David Fatialofa, Spencer Miller, Mark Leafa, Carl Rudd, Subs, all used, Greame Mattinson, Marc Jackson, Howard Hill, Neil Baynes.
Oldham, Desi Williams, Andy Gorley, Dean Gorton, Alan Hadcroft, Alex Wilkinson, Ian Hodson, Paul Ashton, David Best, John Hough, Ged Corcoran, Lee Wingfield, Sion Williams, Phil Farrel. Subs (used) Chris Baines, Gareth Haynes (not used) Gareth Barber, Mark Roberts.
Goals, Rudd 9/12
Star Man Spencer Miller
Goals Ashton, 0/1
Sin Bin, Gorton (laying on)
Star Man, Paul Aston.
Ref, Peter Taberner
Half time 30-4
Scoring, 6-0, 12-0, 12-4, 16-4, 20-4, 24-4, 30-4, 36-4, 42-4, 48-4, 54-4, 60-4, 66-4.
Pens, 10-3 in Haven's favour.
Halifax 18- Haven 26(full time)..
Sept 3 2006
Haven squad: Broadbent, Lebbon, R Jackson, Eilbeck, Maden, Joe, Duffy, Trindall, A Smith, Fatialofa, Miller, Leafa, Rudd. Subs: Mattinson, Wright, Hill, Teare.
Halifax: Gibson, Kirk, Haley, Blackwood, George, Penny, Brambani, Smith, Hoyle, Wrench, Larder, Whittaker, Ball. Subs: Lawford, Boult, Clough, Hayes.