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Old Otliensians 1stXV 21 pts vs Hemsworth 1stXV 15 pts

no report yet, photos here!


Having beaten Hemsworth comfortably in the home fixture last November, ‘Ensians travelled to South Yorkshire expecting a harder time. They were not disappointed as the home side fielded a big, if ageing, pack who dominated play in the early stages. However, it was not long before good backing up by the back row of Til Leccissotti, Toby Baltrop and Dale Kennedy set up Andy Bower for his first try which was converted by full back Matt Tenniswood to provide a 7 – 0 lead after 7 minutes.

Soon after this, Matt Tenniswood came into the back line to score half way out and then good interplay between backs and forwards saw flanker Til Leccissotti go over for a fine try. Conversions by Matt Tenniswood took the score to 21 – 0 after 20 minutes.

Hemsworth showed they had something to offer when they responded with some strong forward drives and produced a converted try followed soon after by a penalty. The home side had no answer to the pace of the ‘Ensians’ backs and centre Andy Hayward cut through to lift the score to 28 – 10 at the break, Matt Tenniswood converting.

Locks Brett Tenniswood and Ben Smith were obtaining quality ball from the lineouts and ‘Ensians continued to spin the ball wide at every opportunity. Fly half Bower went over for his second try and then centre Jason Babb rounded off a sweeping move to score wide out. With one conversion by Matt Tenniswood, the score stood at 40 – 10 after 55 minutes.

At this stage, the visitors allowed complacency to creep in and, feeding off their big pack, the home backs produced two tries, one of which was converted. With the score now at 40 – 22, ‘Ensians once more buckled down to the task. Bower cut through for his hat trick with Matt Tenniswood adding the conversion.

The visiting forwards had endured a hard time in the scrums against the heavier opposition, but as the home pack tired, the front row of Ben Newall, Ross Myers and Adam Mudd started producing cleaner ball and winger Darren Cooley outpaced the cover to score in the corner. The conversion failed, but this took the final score to 52 – 22 to end another fine display of open rugby by the 2nd XV.


 2008.04.12 Hemsworth 176
Liam Copping on his way into the end zone just before half-time

more photos here!

Having suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Wharfedale at Grassington before Christmas, ‘Ensians were keen to turn the tables for this visit. The opening exchanges were ominous for the home side as the Dalesmen took control of possession through their big forwards and the backs, in customary Wharfedale fashion, ran the ball from everywhere. After a period of sustained pressure, they crossed for an unconverted try after 5 minutes.

As ‘Ensians settled down, half backs Peter Gilson and Richard Gill began to get their backs moving with Liam Copping and Andy Wood in the centre making good ground. Alan Garnett and Sam Tetley were obtaining good lineout ball and suddenly it was Wharfedale who were under pressure. Gilson and Wood came close and wingers Tom Broadbent and Steve Lofthouse made penetrating runs, but the defence held firm.

As half time approached, the ball was slipped out to young centre Liam Copping, who beat his man and then rounded the cover to score a superb try under the posts from 50 yards. The conversion by Wood gave the home side a slender lead of 7 – 5 at the break.

The second period started off with the ‘Ensians pack gradually gaining the upper hand as the big visiting forwards began to feel the pace. Locks Chris Howells and Mark Copping set up some good drives and the front row of Dave Beardsley, Ben Tetley and Scott Child were there in support. A shrewd kick by Gilson produced a lineout 5 yards out and the clean catch by Garnett set up a powerful drive towards the visitors’ line. As Gilson was directing the pack to set up the score, two Wharfedale forwards came round offside and dived on him. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try and Andy Wood duly converted to stretch the home side’s lead to 14 – 5 after 50 minutes.

Wharfedale were far from finished and their speedy backs tested the home defence time and again. The home side tackled fiercely with special mention for Peter Gilson and the back row of Ray Drake, Alan Garnett and promising replacement newcomer Tom Dyson. On 65 minutes, ‘Ensians strayed offside and the visitors took the score to 14 – 8 with a penalty. The last ten minutes saw some superb rugby with both sides spinning the ball wide. Wingers Broadbent and Lofthouse were always a threat and full back Sean Flesher linked up well.

With only one score in it and with the final whistle minutes away, Steve Lofthouse scooped up a loose ball on half way, beat his man and outpaced the cover to score near the posts. Although the conversion failed, this sealed another fine performance by ‘Ensians to make the final score 19 – 8 in a very entertaining game.