DANNY Bridge showed exactly why Oldham have missed him so badly during his nine-month RFL ban.

The 26-year-old second-rower made the most promising of comebacks in his first game since last July and in many respects he looked as though he had never been away.

“It was good to be back,” he said. “I’m glad the first one’s over and now I can go on, enjoy the rest of the season and make up for lost time.”

Bridge has said publicly on more than one occasion in the last nine months he wants to make it up to his team-mates for missing so much of last season and the early part of this one.

This was a perfect start and perhaps exactly the right time for Bridge and Danny Langtree to rekindle the second-row partnership that was lethal in the first half of 2018.

This was Langtree’s second game back after his short spell with Super League outfit Hull FC but, in total, it was his 150th game in Oldham colours.

Bridge, 18 months his junior, is in only his second year at Oldham and, because of his suspension, he’s already missed a large chunk of his time with his home-town club. He is just as anxious to make amends as supporters are to see the Langtree-Bridge double act back to its best and firing again on all cylinders as it did before the partnership break-up.

Well though they played in Llanelli, one got the distinct impression it was the appetiser for the main event; a run-out perhaps before this Sunday’s 1895 Cup first-round tie against Whitehaven at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm) in front of their own fans.

They each scored a try and assisted in several others, while Bridge’s exploits wide on the left dovetailed perfectly with what Langtree was doing on the right.

Still without a win this year, Raiders were not the best opponents with which to measure whether Roughyeds had progressed from their two previous performances, in which they were beaten by Newcastle and Hunslet.

“True,” said club captain Gareth Owen. “But we can only play what’s in front of us and there was a definite response to the in-house look at ourselves which involved both chairman and coach. I’m sure we’ll look back at all that, and then at this performance, and feel this was the time we turned the corner and set ourselves up for a good run.”

Despite a fierce westerly wind that had battered south Wales for 24 hours and made kicking and handling very difficult, Roughyeds scored 14 tries and kicked eight conversions to give their ‘points for’ column in the Betfred League 1 table a healthy boost.

For 24 hours at least the win took them two places up the table to third and gave them the second best for-and-against figures in the division, although all that was certain to change following four games the next day.

For the record, Liam Bent, Harry Maders, Zack McComb, Ritchie Hawkyard and Jack Holmes scored two tries each, with Bridge, Paul Crook, Titus Gwaze and Langtree also scoring, nine tries coming from the backs, four by the forwards.

Crook chipped in with eight conversions to seal a win which will enhance the side’s confidence and self-belief.