Dewsbury’s recovery under Neil Kelly gathered further momentum following a hard fought 20-16 win over Oldham.
Penalties looked like securing a win for the Roughyeds before Gareth Moore popped up with a crucial try to turn the tide.
Playing downhill in the opening forty minutes, Oldham worked their way inside the twenty and a good low kick by Scott Leatherbarrow was fumbled by Dale Morton.
From the set, the ball worked left and Danny Grimshaw sliced through on the angle for the first try after four minutes. Leatherbarrow goaled from in front and Oldham led 6-0.
Joe Burke worked hard to clear his line and good work by the hosts pinned Dewsbury inside their twenty. The pressure told with a forward pass being blown to give Oldham another shot at the try line. Kenny Hughes was held up over the line and although Oldham peppered the area, Leatherbarrow’s kick was too long.
It was now the Rams turn to come away from their own end and a smart kick from Gareth Moore forced a tricky pick up from Turner. Jamel Chisholm saw a try disallowed for offside on a kick after ten minutes and the Rams moved into position. Aaron Brown and Luke Hooley pushed Oldham back but Adam Clay cleaned up a second Moore kick that had purpose.
A handling error from Macauley Hallett gave Oldham possession and the Rams compounded their error by holding Grimshaw down. As the hosts started to threaten, Clay was clocked high by Moore and Oldham pushed on again.
A loose pass was intercepted by Moore giving the Rams chance to escape their twenty and Morton won a penalty with some determined running.
The Oldham defence lasted four tackles before a clever kick by Moore to the left corner was pounced on by Morton for a 16th minute response. Paul Sykes, his right knee heavily bandaged, landed a superb conversion from the touchline and it was 6-all.
A ball-steal penalty gave the Rams a leg up from their own half and Luke Hooley went close to giving Dewsbury the lead before Sykes kick went dead in front of Morton.
Jack Spencer spilled a greasy ball forty metres from the Rams line and a good run from Toby Adamson went unrewarded for the Rams.
In the 24th minute Hooley saw a try disallowed offside in pursuit of Moore’s kick and Oldham breathed a sigh of relief.
Former Widnes and Barrow forward Ben Davies was then held up over the line at the other end before a last tackle raid saw Michael Ward forced his way over from Kenny Hughes pass. Leatherbarrow struck his second goal and Oldham led 12-6.
Hooley spilled a high kick as the pressure mounted again moments later. The Rams maintained composure to deny Gareth Owen close to the line. At the other end Hooley did well to get to the twenty before a forward pass halted the Rams progress.
Clay was kept busy by Moore while an interesting sub-story was developing between George Tyson, Hallett and Moore. The latter dominated the Rams attack in the lead-up to half-time and forced a drop out with an inviting kick.
A massive drop out went eighty metres and a handling error gave Oldham unexpected possession. A further error from the Rams saw Oldham ply further pressure with Ward being held and when Turner was hit high he lost his cool with a penalty instead going to Dewsbury.
A massive hit from Tyson forced an error from Hallett and the Rams conceded a ball steal on the stroke of half-time but Leatherbarrow could not goal and it remained 12-6 at the break.
The Rams had the advantage of the Bower Fold slope in the second half, yet it was Oldham with the first chance when Ward went through two minutes in, only to knock on over the line.
Scott Turner left the field with a head injury, forcing a reshuffle at the back for the hosts with Owen dropping into the fullback role.
Dave Hewitt’s kicking pinned the Rams back in their own twenty and the tackles were fierce from both teams.
Adam Neal was sin-binned for the hosts for his part in a tackle on Sam Day deep in Oldham territory before the game was stopped due to injury to Owen who did well to stop an on-rushing Billy Hayes. Owen was carried from the field following a lengthy stoppage and that forced another change with Leatherbarrow switched to full-back.
In the confusion Aaron Ollett profited from a Moore kick that took a deflection from Tyson and with Sykes goal, the sides were level, 12-12 after 53 minutes.
Oldham were struggling to make yards with Hewitt kicking them out of danger.
At the other end a towering kick by Sykes saw Leatherbarrow spill and concede a drop out. That came to nought and both teams lost their cool. It resulted in a report with all officials unsighted to what went on.
Another long kick from Hewitt put pressure on Dewsbury and Alex Brown coughed up possession.
A late tackle on Hewitt resulted in an Oldham penalty and Leatherbarrow pointed to the sticks. The successful kick put Oldham in front, 14-12 after 61 minutes.
Five minutes later Oldham charged up the slope with starting front row Neal, Hughes and Burke all handling before being forced to handover. Moore skied a kick that was taken well by Chisholm and Oldham eventually cleared with a rushed kick from Hewitt.
Individual brilliance from Moore saw him chip, then kick ahead before a fumble gave the visitors hope with 15 minutes remaining but again Dewsbury couldn’t take advantage.
The Rams let their discipline slip, conceding back-to-back penalties and Leatherbarrow opted to go for goal thirty metres out. The composed half-back struck his fourth goal to make it 16-12 in the hosts favour.
With just six minutes to go, Leatherbarrow attempted a kick downfield. Moore blocked it and was quickest to react, picking up and racing towards the posts. Sykes goaled to nudge Dewsbury in front.
It set up a grandstand finish. A short restart was fielded by the Rams, but Oldham fashioned the next chance with Luke Adamson’s pass to Chisholm drifting forward.
Sykes forced a drop out to crucially give the Rams possession in the last couple of minutes, but Oldham had one final shot when Hewitt chipped forward and Alex Brown snuffed out the danger.
In the final seconds Dewsbury were awarded another penalty and Sykes added his fourth goal to ensure a win for the Rams.
OLDHAM: Scott Turner, Adam Clay, George Tyson, Danny Grimshaw, Jamel Chisholm; Scott Leatherbarrow, Dave Hewitt; Adam Neal, Kenny Hughes, Joe Burke, Luke Adamson, Danny Langtree, Jack Spencer. Subs: Michael Ward, Liam Thompson, Gareth Owen, Ben Davies.
Tries: Danny Grimshaw, Michael Ward.
Goals: Scott Leatherbarrow 4/5.
DEWSBURY: Luke Hooley, Dale Morton, Macauley Hallett, Lucas Walshaw, Alex Brown; Paul Sykes, Gareth Moore; Jode Sheriffe, Robbie Ward, Zach Johnson, Daniel Igbinedion, Billy Hayes, Aaron Brown. Subs: Sam Day, Aaron Ollett, Jack Teanby, Toby Adamson.
Tries: Dale Morton, Aaron Ollett, Gareth Moore.
Goals: Paul Sykes 4/4.
Referee: Jon Roberts.