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Old Otliensians 1st XV 24 - Hessle 1st XV 0

With the September sun beaming down, and the conditions under foot perfect for running rugby the stage was set for the first Yorkshire League 4 encounter of the season against Hessle, and the Otliensians were in no mood to let their large contingent of supporters down.

The game started at a tremendous pace with the Hessle backs showing their intention to use the wide channels at every opportunity, eagerly prompted by their former Welsh International player/coach Gary Pearce. They were however to be given no respite, beginning with the outstanding defence of the Otliensians backs and back row, and continuing throughout the game where they were unable to cope with the inventiveness and overall pace of the whole Otliensians back line, with Jon Woods, Ratahi and Hayward making numerous telling breaks.

In contrast the forward encounter was one of titanic proportions, with no quarter asked for or given, with the Ensians disrupting the ball at every lineout, and the powerful Hessle forwards continuing to show tremendous scrummaging prowess to the very last. The key confrontation was however at the contact situation and in the loose, where the Ensians back row of Duggan, Arbuckle, Tom Woods and laterly Grey, prompted by scrum half Birch, proved to have the upper hand.

There were two turning points in the first half, firstly the Ensians again won a Hessle throw near to their own line, for Smith to crash over for a well deserved try, converted expertly by Foster, and secondly heroic Ensians defence for the final three minutes of the half, where wave after wave of Hessle attacks were driven back to the increasing pleasure of the home supporters.

With the half time score of 7 - 0, it was obvious to see that the superior Ensians fitness was beginning to tell, and this proved decisive in the second half, as the Ensians continued to play their dynamic and aggressive game. The pressure was beginning to build, and Foster converted an excellent 40 metre penalty, that lead to the dominant phase of the game where the Ensians forwards and backs combined in scintillating fashion to engineer further converted tries for Bonner and Duggan.

The final score of 24 - 0 was a fair reflection of a very competitive game, between two committed and skilful sides with the Ensians again maintaining a well deserved clean sheet.

Ensians contest and win Hessle lineout

Skipper on the charge

Pressure in the lineout gives the skipper an easy "flop over" try

The Ensian pack stuck to their guns against a heavier pack

Hessle had a sustained period of pressure in the 2nd quarter of the first half, Ensians kept a clean sheet

The biggest winger in the Yorkshire leagues, Bonzo leaves the defence for dead

Duggan dives over for the final try of the game


Bonzo in full flight (animation may take some time to download)

Report supplied by the coach, Gary Walker.


Rawmarsh 1sts 7 - Old Otliensians A 26

In their first ever fixture against this South Yorkshire Division 5 side,’Ensians travelled with only 14 players, including veteran Peter Tempest. The home side loaned a player and set off very strongly with their huge pack dominating the early exchanges.

However, it was the visitors who were first off the mark with a good score from No 8 Andy Allman who picked up from a scrum and drove over. Rawmarsh replied with a pushover try which they converted to give them a 7 – 5 lead.

The ‘Ensians front row of Dave Beardsley, James Kear and Tom Twist began to produce good ball and from good backing up, second row Richard Wardak picked up and went over to regain the lead. Matt Tenniswood converted to make the score 12 – 7 to the visitors at the break.

The second period saw the ‘Ensians backs moving the ball at every opportunity through half-backs Ben Newell and Phil Purnell, but indifferent handling saw scoring chances wasted. However, the continuing pressure told and centre Andy Bower scooped up a loose ball to go over and increase the lead. Matt Tenniswood added the two points to put the visitors in front 19 points to 7.

Rawmarsh began using their heavy substitutes, but the visitors back row of Jim Saunders, Andy Allman and Peter Tempest tackled well with good support from lock Alan Harker. As the end approached the game became scrappy but good work from the ‘Ensians backs saw the loaned player finish off a good move. Matt Tenniswood converted to conclude a good team effort with a 26 – 7 victory.


Cleckheaton 4ths 62 – Old Otliensians B 17

Although not due to start their fixtures until the following week, ‘Ensians 3rds accepted an offer to travel to Cleckheaton and set off with twelve players and a group of twelve supporting “WAGS”, (wives and girlfriends). Cleckheaton loaned two players to increase the visitors to fourteen.

On a hard pitch Cleckheaton set off at a lively pace and soon ran in three tries with one being converted to give them a seventeen point lead. However, the ‘Ensians front row of Scott Child, Jock McIlwraith and Steve Robinson gradually settled down in the scrums and with better quality ball, the visitors were able to exert pressure on the home side. Andy Wood, having his first game at lock, had some powerful runs and his loaned second row partner forced his way over for two good tries. With Andy Wood adding the conversion, ‘Ensians were a very creditable 17 points to 12 down at the break.

In the second period, the home side’s extra man began to take its toll and as they moved the ball about well, ‘Ensians began to tire. Good defensive work by full back Sean Flesher, centres Jim Mc Dougall and Darrell Hamilton nullified several moves, but eventually Cleackheaton ran in six more tries, which, with conversions, gave them a big lead. However, the visitors never gave up and captain Jim Mc Dougall finished off a good move to score wide out. The failed conversion left the final score at 62 – 17 to Cleackheaton.

The score somewhat flattered the home side in what was a good-spirited effort by ‘Ensians. With more players becoming available, the 3rd XV can look forward to producing a more competitive edge in the weeks ahead.