Saints smash part-timers
Meli bags a hat-trick of tries as Super League club run riot at home
Last Updated: 27/04/12 10:32pm
St Helens eased into the last eight of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a 76-0 demolition of Championship One part-timers Oldham.
Half-back Jonny Lomax finished with a personal haul of 28 points, including crossing for two of the Stobart Super League side's 14 tries in the romp.
Oldham, the only lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, forfeited home advantage to attract a bigger crowd and had the consolation of a share of the 5,746 gate at Langtree Park.
The Roughyeds, who last beat Saints in a cup tie in 1943, were not helped in their attempts to cause a monumental upset by the absences of Graham Holroyd, Lucas Onyango, Paul Noone and Paul Smith.
Saints were also missing several players - Anthony Laffranchi, Gary Wheeler, Ade Gardner, Josh Perry, Tony Puletua and Jon Wilkin all sat the match out.
Joe Greenwood was the latest youngster to be handed his first appearance off the bench by acting coach Mike Rush.
Oldham did complete three sets of six from the kick-off before Saints touched the ball, though the hosts broke the deadlock on their first attack after James Roby sent Lomax darting through a gap.
Hooker Roby was the provider for Saints second try by Paul Clough - his first for 14 months - with Lomax on target with the conversion to make it 10-0.
Oldham had their moments with Miles Greenwood and David Cookson prominent before Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crashed over from 10 metres out, Roby once again providing the try-assist.
Lance Hohaia's kick into space brought Saints' fourth try for Josh Jones to stretch the lead to 22-0 midway through the first half.
Sol Soliola then charged over from close range and Miles Greenwood's spilled ball under pressure allowed Tommy Makinson, recalled on the wing, to touch down in the corner.
Paul Wellens became Saints' seventh different try scorer just before the break after cutting inside a tiring defence and Lomax slotted over the conversion to stretch the advantage to 38-0.
Oldham were down to 12 men soon after the restart when Jamie Dallimore was yellow-carded for a professional foul and Saints immediately extended the lead with Francis Meli going over out wide.
Michael Shenton bursting on to Lomax's pass for the ninth try to make bring up the half-century of points, though the visitors did well to only be breached twice during the period they were without Dallimore.
Wellens put Shaun Magennis over for his first try of the season after 65 minutes and Meli's second try came courtesy of a long pass from the full-back.
Lomax converted his second try to make it 68-0 with nine minutes left, with Jones also touching down. There was still time for Meli to complete his hat-trick, too, as Saints scorched their way into the hat for the draw.
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup