IT may have only been a pre-season game at Cougar Park yesterday, but Oldham laid down an early marker with a thumping 46-10 away win over expected League 1 title rivals Keighley.

The Cougars were right in the game until late in the first half, just 16-10 behind, but their former winger Mo Agoro crossed the whitewash for his new team just moments before the hooter to take the visitors’ lead into double figures.

And Oldham pulled away in a one-sided second half, leaving Keighley with just under three weeks to lick their wounds before hosting Castleford in their next friendly on Sunday, January 14.

There was already a dose of bad Boxing Day news for the Cougars ahead of kick-off yesterday, with new Australian signing Josh Martin ruled out due to a registration issue Down Under.

But despite former Wales international Craig Kopczak forcing his way over from close range for Oldham early on, with Danny Craven converting, Keighley hit back quickly.

Jack Miller’s grubber kick through caused problems and new signing Jordan Schofield pounced as Oldham were trying to shepherd the ball out of play, diving over the line for his first try in Cougars colours.

The experienced Oscar Thomas added the extras to bring the hosts back level.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Oscar Thomas (third left of those standing) briefly brought Keighley back level, but their afternoon soon went downhill.Oscar Thomas (third left of those standing) briefly brought Keighley back level, but their afternoon soon went downhill. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Logan Astley restored Oldham’s lead in the 17th minute following an overload on the right-hand side, before a converted score on the half-hour mark, after Patrick Moran was the beneficiary of a great burst out of dummy half from Bailey Aldridge, gave the away side some breathing space.

Yet soon after, another new signing for Keighley, Billy Walkley, scored their second try.

It was an almighty effort from the young full-back, who intercepted Mackenzie Turner’s loose pass and ran the length of the field to score, with the luckless Turner going down injured in his attempt to chase down Walkley and rectify his mistake.

That fine individual score ensured Keighley only trailed 16-10, but Agoro’s try on 38 minutes, following another overload down the right, swung the momentum back in Oldham’s favour.

The half-time interval did little to nip that in the bud, as the visitors blitzed the home side in devastating fashion after the break.

Ted Chapelhow dived on to a low kick through from Jordan Paga to cross the whitewash for the visitors after 47 minutes, with Kieran Tyrer converting, and he was successful from the kicking tee moments later too, after Emmerson Whittel spun out of a Keighley tackle to go over for a score.

Cian Tyrer scored in the corner to extend Oldham’s lead further on the hour mark, then Nick Rawsthorne exposed a huge gap on the left to put the Roughyeds out of sight.

That pair of tries ensured Oldham held a 40-10 lead with around a quarter of an hour to go, but they were not done just yet.

Kieran Tyrer fed Ben O’Keeffe to score on 70 minutes, before the assister converted the try to round off an emphatic away win.