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Otliensians started the game at a ferocious pace, swinging the ball from wing to wing and forcing a penalty in the 2nd minute, this was sweetly struck by Foster, but came back off the upright with Corinthians clearing the danger. Otliensians continued to press with dynamic forward surges from Bonner, Smith, Tom Woods, Arbuckle and Markus Keinhorst, but when Corinthians were awarded an 8th minute penalty, after their first move in to Otliensians territory they took the lead with a well struck kick from 48 metres. There then followed the first of an unsavoury set of stamping incidents by the Corinthians players, none of which were seen throughout the game by the unsighted referee, and to add to the mix the dominant Otliensians scrum was repeatadly penalised for pushing the Corinthians pack off the ball too quickly.

However, Otliensians continued to have the upper hand and with Birch orchestrating from the base with No 8 Duggan, and Foster and Ratahi distributing intelligently the pressure began to build through a series of well constructed attacks, culminating in a rare Otliensians penalty after they had once again pushed their oppopnents off the ball. The tap was taken quickly and tranferred efficiently to Arbuckle who touched down in the left
hand corner, Foster adding the extras with a superb kick. It was all Otliensians in the first half, but somehow the scores didn't materialise, and it was left to the excellent Corinthians kicker to convert a further penalty in the 4th minute of stoppage time to leave Otliensians with a 10 - 6 interval lead.

The second half began as the first with concerted pressure from the whole Otliensians team, Smith made an offensive tackle at the line out, Lyons fed Keinhorst who steamed through the Corinthians defence, before popping to Foster who fed the supporting Ratahi for one of the tries of the season in the right hand corner, again converted by Foster.

As Corinthians began to scrap for every piece of possession the game began to lose its shape, and Otliensians were dragged in to a toe to toe battle, eventually leading to a Corinthians score on the blind side of a scrum to the far right of the posts, after both teams had been reduced to 13 men by the Hullensians official, the extras were added and the gap closed to 17 -13.

The reduced numbers in the pack seemed to affect Otliensians to the greater extent, but lead by Hanogue they withstood a series of drives by the combined Corinthians forwards and backs, before a full complement was restored and normality resumed.

As time was played down, Jon Woods was released on a 60 metre run, and the solid Tenniswood at full back handled everything that came his way, before a final attack by Corinthians was broken up, leading to another counter up field and a Foster penalty in the 87th minute to bring another 2 valuable league points back to Chaffers Field.

Otliensians 52 pts v Leeds Corinthians 0 pts

  2007.02.03 Corinthians 153

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Otliensians kicked off in this Merit Table game against Corinthians who arrived late on a superb winter afternoon. The Ensians attacked immediately and from a scrum on the 22 scrum half Peter Boultby broke and from the ensuing ruck Dan Ridgeway scored from No 8.and Ben Newall converted.

After 8 miins a good line out ball was taken on by stand off Andy Bower and out to Richard Cuff on the right wing who beat his man to score near the posts. At this stage it was clear that simple rugby and good balll transfer would serve the home side best.The visitors began to find their feet and drove up to the Ensians 22 but on 16 mins Joe Robinson won a good lineout ball on the Ensians 10m. The ball spun across the line, Dave Smith burst in from fullback and Bower in support scored under the posts, Newall converting. Directly after the ball again found Cuff who scored wide out, Newall converting. On 27 min the ball swept across the field from the right and left wing Jason Babb scored wide out, Newall converting.

On 30 min a super break from centre Till Lescotti on halfway led to a maul 10 m out and Bower scored under the posts, Newall converting. A slight fracas saw one of the visitors props walk off resulting in uncontested scrums. The half ended with the Ensians leading 40 - 0 pts.

The restart saw Ensians drive to the visitors line and Boultby score in the corner. Corinthians produced some good forward play to take them deep into the home side territory but home side defended well and from a scrum on their 22 Smith made a half break, fed Cuff who blasted his way past two men, out paced the cover to score, Tom Twist converting. Corinthians did not give up and tried to the end , the referee blowing up a few minutes early.

Another good team performance by Otliensians with the foundation being laid by good work from the pack.

Otley Vicounts 10 pts  v Old Otliensians 3rd XV 15 pts

  2007.02.03 Otley 234
Andy Carruthers of Carruthers & Thackwray and "Hippy" from the Manor with the 3rd XV.
Carruthers & Thackwray are sponsors of the 3rd XV shirts.

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For this match against their local rivals, ‘Ensians were again disappointed to learn that from the outset scrums would be uncontested as Otley could not field a front row. With newcomer Jason Stebbens in the second row, Otliensians set off at a fast pace and good ball gave half backs Peter Gilson and Will Haines chance to get their back line in action early on. However, the home side defended well and counter-attacked whenever the ball was spilled.

‘Ensians suffered a major setback after five minutes when fly half Haines had to leave the field with an ankle injury. Skipper Jim McDougall filled the gap and Darren Hamilton came on in the centre. The visiting forwards began to make a big impression in the loose with Matt Taylor, Andy Wood and Jason Stebbens having strong drives. Twice in front of the Otley posts, ‘Ensians chose to run penalties only to see their efforts nullified by strong tackling. From one such encounter and against the run of play, the Viscounts fly half latched on to an untidy pass and showed good pace to score under the posts. The conversion put ‘Ensians seven points behind after fifteen minutes.

The visitors responded with clean lineout ball from Matt Taylor and good interpassing between Gilson, Chris Myers, Andy Wood and Richard Hern took play into the home side’s twenty two. An infringement gave skipper McDougall chance to put his side on the score sheet with a penalty.

For the remainder of the half play remained fairly even as both sides continued to spread the ball wide. Good defence prevented a score until a series of powerful drives from Steve Robinson, Ray Drake and John Offer gave Jason Stebbens a chance to force his way through two defenders for a good try near the posts. McDougall’s conversion gave ‘Ensians a 10 – 3 lead at the break.

At half time, Alan Harker came on for Offer and within minutes slick passing from Gilson and McDougall put centre Sean Kennedy away on a weaving fifty yard run to score half way out. The failed conversion gave the visitors an eight point lead.

The Viscounts responded strongly with their experienced forwards setting up a series of strong driving mauls. On one occasion, they got over the line, but the pile of bodies left the referee unsighted and a score was disallowed. With both sides having a good supply of clean ball, play moved from end to end and last-ditch tackles from full back Steve Lofthouse and wingers Dan Garnett and Tom Broadbent were necessary to keep Otley out.

With five minutes remaining, ‘Ensians infringed in front of their posts and the penalty left Viscounts adrift by 10 points to 15. With one score in it, Otley threw everything into attack, but with the experienced Peter Gilson marshalling the Otliensians’ defence, no further points came.

This was a game played in an excellent spirit and, with skipper McDougall giving a strong lead, ‘Ensians came away with the spoils through determined defence and good teamwork.

On saturday the 1st XV are scheduled to play Burley at Chaffers Fields in the 2nd round of the Silver Trophy. The seconds are away at York RI and the 3rds are at home to Yarnbury.