Hemel Stags suffered a crushing 70-6 defeat at the hands of Kingstone Press League 1 leaders Oldham as the visitors ran riot in the second half at Pennine Way.
Hemel took the lead after just six minutes and kept with table topping Oldham until the last 10 minutes of the first half – after that the visitors simply ran away with the game.
Youngster Malakhi Lloyd-Jones forced his way over for the Hemel try after they had the best of the opening sets, and James Woodburn-Hall converted.
Oldham replied shortly afterwards; Gary Owen shimmied over following a penalty for ripping, with Lewis Palfrey getting the first two points of a 34-point personal haul with three tries and 11 goals .
For most of the first half it was end to end stuff, but finally the Hemel defence cracked and Danny Langtree found just enough space to sneak under the line to score. The following conversion was the only on to be missed all day.
After Elliot Liku was held up, the pressure told and Hemel conceded two tries in as many minutes. The first came from Michael Ward, with Derrell Olpherts being sin binned for a late tackle in the build-up to the score.
The second came from a clever run by Sam Gee who fed David Hewitt to finish and bring the half-time score to 22-6 in Oldham’s favour.
The second half try-fest started just two minutes in with a 60m break by George Tyson for a fine solo try.
Liam Thompson crossed after some heavy Oldham pressure, before Hemel were unlucky not to be awarded a try when Michael Brown was put in the clear by a pass from Jymel Coleman that was adjudged, harshly, to be forward.
A mistake by Chris McNamara, spilling a high ball, let in Palfrey to score then Ward crossed the line after a smart pass from Hewitt.
Palfrey crossed again for his second after Hewitt broke the Hemel line, then after a clever kick on the last put in Gee for a try, Palfrey got his third score in 19 minutes.
The final score was on the hooter and went to Langtree who broke through a very tired-looking Hemel defence for an easy canter to the line.
Stags coach Troy Perkins said: “I thought we competed well for the first half hour then gave away two soft tries to give an unrealistic look to the half-time score.
“After the break we only had eight sets and completed only two of them. We never competed in the second half.”