match reports rogues gallery club stuff


Photo Jan Pickles

On a grey, damp and overcast day at Chaffers Field, the gloom was illuminated enough by one piece of excellent play, that saw Otliensians gain another league victory to see them through the first half of the season in a very healthy position.

It seemed that Bramley Phoenix had well and truly risen to the challenge, as they began strongly with a series of well constructed and dangerous back moves, but as is becoming increasingly the case, once they had realised the strength of the home defensive system the game became a dour spoiling affair, with many interruptions, the highlight been the debating skills of the Bramley skipper, who slowed the game very effectively with his myriad of questioning techniques of every decision.

It was Bramley who had the best of the first half, using the conditions to good effect, with their lively backs using the ball at every opportunity, but as the ball from their forwards dried up, their potency was nullified, and the clear superiority of the Otliensians pack became the telling factor.

Otliensians were winning the ball at will in the line out, where Bramley did not contest on the home ball, and the scrummage was dominant, with several strikes against the head, but still the clawing mud left no easy escape, and at half time Bramley had converted two penalties to lead 6 - 0.

It was not however long before Otliensians began to show their touches of flair, with the ball moving freely in well executed patterns, and from a series of forward drives, the Woods brothers combined, with Tom delivering the final pass for Jon to score wide to the right of the posts, and lighten the supporters day.

As the gloom became heavier, it was Foster who stepped up to the mark with two well struck penalties to ease Otliensians away to their hard won victory, against tenacious local opponents, who also seemed delighted with the result.

It is on days like this that teams are potentially made, with hard earned league points the ultimate goal, and again Otliensians were not found wanting, but their loyal fans are looking forward to an equally successful second half of the season, beginning next week with the difficult trip to Castleford.

Bramley Phoenix 10pts v Old Otliensians 2nd XV 28pts

Otliensians expected a tough encounter at Bramley in this Merit table game but set off really well building on promising performances OF recent weeks.

After 5 mins Skipper Andy Bower, this week playing in the second row rather than his more normal centre berth, broke from halfway . Brett Tenniswood in the unaccustomed scrum half berth was up in support and scored for Ben Newall to convert. Otliensians continued to work well in both the backs and forwards and after 30 mins good interplay saw Bower break through a tackle on halfway , round the full back to score, Newall converting giving the Ensians a 0 -14 pts lead at the break.

With the wind at their backs in the second half Bramley came more into the game. A good midfield move broke through the Ensians defence after 5 mins and the home side scored. They continued to put the visitors under pressure but Ensians defended well and midway through the half, wing Jason Babb chipped the ball through from his own 22, caught it ,sped down the field and fed fullback Darren Cooley who scored, Newall converting from near the touchline. Bramley were far from finished and hit back with a good try from their open side flanker in the corner.

Otliensians picked up their attacking game and after a series of forward drives prop Tom Twist went over for Newall to convert once again.

In what was probably the best 2nd XV performance of the season so far , Ben Smith and Joe Robinson won good line out ball, brother Ben Robinson made a welcome return to the centre, Tenniswood deputised creditably at scrumhalf and Bower did a great job captaining the side from second row.

Otliensians 3rd XV 17 pts versus Leodiensians 4th XV 7 pts

Photo Jan Pickles

Moortown gave back word early in the week and Leodiensains were happy to travel to Otley for what was anticipated to be a close game .Otliensians 3rd XV were augmented with some older experienced players in Dave Smith, Peter Gillson, Roger Whitworth and Chris Myers and they were soon prominent in coordinating the play in the early attacks from the home side. Alan Garnett began to win some good ball in the lineout and Otliensians strung together some good passing moves and just failed to score in the corner. However on 15 mins Mark Copping went over for a try from close range which stand off Will Haines converted. Leodiensians began to work hard in the pack and moved towards the Ensians line but kept losing field position via a series of penalties. When the need arose Otliensians defended resolutely and at halftime had a well deserved 7 - 0 pts lead.

Leos regrouped at the break and were first on the attack with a good break from their inside centre who accelerated through from 30m to score near the posts. The try was converted but this encouraged the Ensians to build up some momentum. Michael Philpott came on as replacement centre. Haines who was showing some nice touches put the home side back into the lead with a  penalty after 12 mins. The visitors seemed to wilt visibly although their try scoring centre always posed a threat when he had the ball. Scott Child left the field injured for a period and Phil Cook came on at prop. Late in the game he provided the continuity in another good Ensians attack for fullback Sean Flesher to score, Haines converted.

A good win for the 3rd XV which should provide them with encouragement before the trip to Castleford.

On Saturday the 1st XV travel to Castleford for a key League game. The 3rd XV are also at Csstleford whilst the 2nd XV play Castleford at Chaffers Fields in a Merit table game.