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Old Otliensians 2nd XV 5 pts vs Otley XV 27 pts

Bonzo scores our only points of the afternoon

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With West Park Leeds unable to raise ether a 2nd or 3rd XV , Otliensians 3rd XV played a Yarnbury 3rd XV and the arrangement was that 2nd XV would take on an Otley Saracens side which would include members of the 3rd XV since the Otley 1st XV were decimated by injury.

Otley arrived with many members of their development squad who produced some fine handling moves in the first quarter of the game as the Ensians tried to come to terms both mentally and physically with the pace of the play. Otley stormed ahead and were soon leading 22- 0 pts but the Ensians pack certainly had not given up the fight and were able to win ball in the tight assisted by good work from Peter Bonner. The Ensians after their easy win last week against weak opposition gradually eased back into the game with some determination and Phil Purnell regrouped his line well and they also began to produce some attacking play and the defence gradually tightened. From one attack Bonner went over from short range and the score was 22- 5 pts in Otley's favour at the break.

Ensians kept up their efforts in the second half with Otley scoring only one more try losing by a relatively respectable 27 - 5 pts after what had all the signs of being a thrashing.

OLD OTLIENSIANS 3rd XV 12 pts vs YARNBURY 3rd XV 28 pts

Brett scores in the corner

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For this clash with their local rivals, ‘Ensians line-up included former 1st XV centre Andy Hayward playing his first game since injury in September. From the kick-off Yarnbury went straight into the attack through their back division and good support play brought them a try and conversion after only five minutes.

With ‘Yarnbury stealing some of the home side’s lineout ball, they continued to mount a series of flowing attacking moves and the result was another converted try after ten minutes. Despite strong tackling by centres Hayward and Lee O’Donnell, ‘Ensians were having problems coping with the strong-running visitors’ back division with their full-back providing some thrusting interventions. Another converted try followed and after only fifteen minutes ’Ensians were facing a worrying twenty-one point deficit.

Encouraging words from skipper Will Haines boosted confidence levels and the home side began to make use of solid scrummage ball from the front row of Dave Beardsley, Ross Myers and Richard Wardak. Half-backs Peter Gilson and Haines got their back line moving and with thrusting runs from Hayward and Lee O’Donnell,
it was the turn of Yarnbury to defend. With full back Sean Flesher linking up well, ‘Ensians were unlucky not to get on the score sheet as they came up to half time.

At the break, experienced ‘Ensians players Sean Kennedy came on in the centre and Dan Ridgway at flanker. However, from the re-start, a strong back move from Yarnbury caught the defence on the wrong foot and a converted try left ‘Ensians trailing by twenty eight points. The home side woke up and launched a series of attacks with centres Kennedy and Hayward putting Yarnbury under a lot of pressure. With Brett Tenniswood getting cleaner ball from the lineout, the pressure mounted and only a last-ditch tackle prevented Lee O’Donnell going over in the corner.

The home side were rewarded a few minutes later when flanker Ridgway dived over after good pressure from locks Brett Tenniswood and Andy Wood, well-supported by Number 8 Alan Garnett and scrum-half Peter Gilson. Will Haines converted to make the score 28 – 7 to the visitors.

The quality of rugby improved as both sides moved the ball about at every opportunity and lock Tenniswood scored a good try in the corner after a fine break by Sean Kennedy. The conversion failed and the re-start saw Yarnbury mounting further strong attacks. Only a tremendous try-saving tackle by Number 8 Alan Garnett prevented a score in the corner.

‘Ensians continued to have the best of the closing minutes in this enjoyable match, but the score remained at 28 –12 in Yarnbury’s favour. The home side could feel justifiably satisfied at outscoring their opponents in the second half when earlier, it looked as though the game might run away from them.

On Saturday the 1st XV travel to Sheffield Oaks for a key League game; Oaks had a good win last week and will be a difficult proposition on their own ground. Ensians won 21 - 16 pts at Chaffers Fields in early November. The 2nd and 3rd XV's are scheduled to play Morley 3rd and 4th XV's