AFTER the sort of disappointing run Oldham have had in the past couple of months, this was a more-than-welcome, seven-try triumph for the Roughyeds.

'Tis true that the Llanelli-based Raiders are bottom of Betfred League One with one win in 15 and having conceded more points than leaders Keighley have scored.

Nevertheless, this new-look Oldham side, going into action with numerous changes and playing without club captain Martyn Ridyard and vice-captain Luke Nelmes, had a few hurdles to leap beyond the absence of this influential pair of leaders.

For instance. A stiff downfield breeze and non-stop drizzle was a great leveller, making the ball difficult to handle and the beautifully-manicured pitch tricky and greasy.

For instance. Welsh centre Calvin Wellington, clearly up for this one on his native heath, limped off in the opening stages with a pulled hamstring.

On-loan teenager Oliver Field replaced him at right-centre and further enhanced his growing reputation.

For instance. Connor Carr, Sean Slater, Robbie Butterworth, Dane Windrow, Callum Cameron and Luke Nelmes. all of whom played against Doncaster, stood down from this one for a variety of reasons, replaced by Will Cooke, Kian Morgan, Dave Hewitt, James Thornton, Jason Muranka and Ethan Ferry.

Referring pre-match to the many changes, coach Stu Litter said: "It will be a day of opportunity. I would rather talk of the lads who ARE playing more than the lads who are not."

So did the 'promoted' lads take that opportunity ? They certainly did.

New half-backs Morgan and Hewitt were refreshing and imaginative. Morgan, a centre normally, looked a natural in this key, pivotal role, having set up the first try for winger Liam Copland with a stunning break.

Hewitt had a big game, too. He scored two tries, one of them a beauty; landed five conversions as Ridyard's place-kicking replacement; and danced through on his toes to set up a late try for Muranka.

This Siberian international forward was making his first Oldham appearance of the season, having spent most of it recovering from a nasty concussion injury, and he did enough to suggest there will be more tries to come from him in the six games left.

All converted by Hewitt, first-half tries by Copland, Field and Hewitt gave Littler's lads an 18-0 interval lead, after which Copland, Muranka, Morgan and Hewitt added further tries with Hewitt converting two of them to take his personal points haul to 18.

Oldham lined up like this:

Restall; Copland, Wellington, Cooke, Hartley; Morgan, Hewitt; Thornton, Yarrow, Spencer, Muranka, Ferry, Whittel (capt). Subs: Openshaw, Field, Coventry, Newton.

Next up for Roughyeds is Sunday's clash at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm) with the other Welsh team, North Wales Crusaders, who are lying second. Now, that WILL be a test.