Old Otliensians 1st XV 15pts vs Knaresborough 1st XV 23pts
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After 16 games as league leaders Otliensians relinquised the top spot on
Saturday with their worst performance of the season, and now need to rely on
other results to go their way over the last 5 league games if they are to
claim one of the promotion places.
Knaresborough possess an old fashioned pack of forwards, who are very robust
and commited, and play a limited game plan, utilising their equally robust
fly half as the pivot, and after 3 minutes of non-tackling by the
Otliensians forwards barged their way over for the first try, with an
excellent conversion from the touch line. After 8 minutes and with
Otliensians still not been at the game, Knaresborough converted a penalty to
take a 10 - 0 lead. The pattern continued throughout the first half with
Knaresborough using their superior weight to score from a rolling maul, and
with their reliable goal kicker adding the conversion and a penalty went in
to half time with a 20 - 0 lead, and the advantage of Otliensians being down
to 13 players with two in the sin bin as frustration mounted.
Otliensians possessed the skill levels to have won this game handsomely, and
the supporters felt they had been woken from their slumber when within a
minute of the restart the 13 Otliensians players produced a sweeping 80
metre passage of play to put Matt Tenniswood over in the corner. But the
pivotal moments of the game were to follow when another series of decisions
went against the Otliensians team, firstly a Knareborough player took the
Otliensians kicker out off the ball, a penalty was awarded, but unlike the
first half where the referee had immediately sin binned Bonner for a much
less innocuous incident, he chose not to be consistent. In the 14th minute
of the half, the Knaresborough skipper, who was enjoying a great game,
pulled Tom Woods down in the line out for the third time, the referee took
him to one side, began to pull out the yellow card, but inexplicably put it
back in his pocket to the obvious distress of the Otliensians contingent. In
the 18th minute after Knaresborough had given away 4 consecutive penalties
less than 5 metres from their line, the omens said this was not going to be
Otliensians day, as the offical decided to take no action, instead
penalising the home team for their protest at the persistent offences. From
this relieving kick Knaresborough made there only foray in to home territory
in the whole half, and were rewarded with a penalty after 22 minutes.
Otliensians were again awoken and Birch scored a try directly from the kick
off in the left hand corner, but after this Otliensians self destructed,
creating 8 clear cut chances, but spurning each one with execution that was
at best poor, until 8 minutes from time they managed to work Birch over for
his second try.
The last frenetic minutes followed the same pattern, Otliensians camped on
the Knaresborough line, when the final act epitomised their day, a 4 to 1
overlap against the admirable Knareborough prop forward, who just tracked
the 4 Otliensians players across the field and in to touch.
Anyone watching would have been hard pressed to distinguish the table
toppers from the two teams on display, with Knaresborough showing the
greater will to win, and reaping the reward of a well deserved 2 points.
KNARESBOROUGH 2nd XV 22pts vs OLD
OTLIENSIANS 3rd XV 10pts
‘Ensians arrived at Knaresborough to be
greeted with a pitch still suffering from the effects of recent heavy rain
with quagmires in each 22 area. Skipper Jim McDougall filled the fly half
berth in place of injured Will Haines and centre Sean Kennedy took over at
The home side kicked off and were stunned when Kennedy caught the ball and
set off on a sparkling sixty yard run to take play up to the ‘Boro line.
There was an infringement and within a minute McDougall had put the visitors
3 points up. Knaresborough responded quickly through their big pack and five
minutes later drove over for a try wide out.
With the slope in their favour, ‘Ensians ventured deep in to opposition
territory through good work from forwards Dave Beardsley, John Broadbent and
Richard Wardak. Good lineout ball from Alan Garnett and Alan Harker enabled
centres Andy Wood and Brad Young to make powerful drives up to the line.
Scores nearly came from Kennedy and McDougall, but after a series of
frustrating rucks, ‘Ensians spun the ball wide and full back Darren Hamilton
linked up well to go over in the corner. A superb conversion by Kennedy put
the visitors 10 – 5 up after 30 minutes. ‘Ensians continued to enjoy a big
territorial advantage for the remainder of the half, but they could not
improve on their lead.
In the second period facing the slope and a big home pack, ‘Ensians
struggled to gain ground and get out of the muddy 22 area. Despite strong
defence from Broadbent, Alan Garnett and Harker, Knaresborough scrambled
over under the posts and the conversion left ‘Ensians trailing 17 – 10 after
The home side now had their tails up and camped in the Otliensians 22 for
long periods. Full back Hamilton and wingers Dan Garnett and John Offer
tackled tirelessly, but the pressure told and an unsighted knock-on allowed
the home side to go over in the corner. The conversion failed and left
‘Ensians in arrears by 22 points to 10 after 65 minutes.
Darren Hamilton had to leave the field with a leg injury and he was replaced
by Tony Collins at full back. These fresh legs gave tiring ‘Ensians a new
lease of life and they managed to work their way out of the boggy area with
strong runs from Andy Wood, Chris Myers and John Broadbent. Collins,
Robinson and Kennedy went close, but the big ‘Boro pack held off the driving
mauls. Knaresborough infringed on several occasions, but quick tap penalties
sometimes lacked support to breach the strong defence.
The final whistle came with the visitors still camped on the ‘Boro line with
the score line at 22 – 10. ‘Ensians could look back on this frustrating game
with some satisfaction in that they did well against a big Knaresborough 2nd
XV who were very much at home in these heavy conditions.