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Old Otliensians 1st XV 15 pts vs Castleford 1st XV 11 pts

  2007.03.31 Castleford 112

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For the last home League game of the season Otliensians gave one of their best displays to defeat a Castleford side that are very well resourced, must play on the wettest pitch in Yorkshire, and have seen an influx of players from higher leagues that has helped them to secure the second promotion spot leaving Otliensians in 3rd place, assuming their resources do not run out and they achieve a further victory from their two remaining league games.

Otliensians won the toss and elected to play against the elements in the first half, in what proved to be a very determined and skilful display, full of pride and passion, matching the excellent Castleford fifteen at every turn.

Castleford began at a rare pace, using both their forwards and backs to try and penetrate the solid Otliensians defensive patterns, but they were thwarted time and again as the Otliensians tacklers lead by Hayward and Foster in the backs and Percy in the forwards rocked them back with energy sapping offensive hits. As the half wore on Otliensians began to exert their own pressure, and the driving game of Smith, Duggan, Bonner and Arbuckle began to punch holes around the fringes, whilst the front row of Myers, Lyon and Percy dominated their much vaunted opponents. The unfortunate Markus Keinhorst was injured at the forefront of the action, but the evergreen Brett Tenniswood once again filled the breach admirably, before making way after 45 minutes of unremitting work for the rejuvenated Grey who scavenged on the ground magnificently.

Castleford were reduced to taking pot shots at goal and opened their account with two long range penalties after 22 and 24 minutes, and scored the only try of the first half in injury time, as just reward for their line out superiority, stealing Otliensians ball on the right touchline before efficiently handling for the outside centre to score on the left, with a deficit of 11 - 0 the Otliensians players knew the game was there for the taking.

As the second half developed both Birch and Kristian Keinhorst managed the game very effectively, using the elements to keep the ball in front of the now dominant pack, with Matt Tenniswood and Cuff taking the ball up with devastating effect from the back, it was only a matter of being patient before the first score and this was provided by the skipper Smith on 57 minutes. A number of phases were constructed by the Otliensians combined resources, before a dynamic rolling maul was set 10 metres from the Castleford line, the maul rumbled on leaving the opposition in its wake, and from the bottom a beaming Smith emerged triumphant.

The next 10 minutes proved crucial as first Jon Woods on the right wing made another electric break outside the covering defence, and Matt Tenniswood scythed through more defenders, in what was proving to be his best display of the season. From one such run the ball was recycled and moved from left to right, as the move seemed to slow the Otliensians handling was electric with interpassing taking the ball back to the left touchline for Arbuckle to crash through the remnants of the defence after 67 minutes, Foster converted and hit a penalty after 74 minutes to leave the home side 15 - 11 to the good.

Castleford however were not for accepting defeat and to their great credit came back in the final minutes with a barnstorming break from their renowned prop forward, but encapsulating the whole Otliensians effort was winger Jon Woods who as the last line of defence brought the rampaging prop to ground, suffering injury in the process which lead to him been supported from the pitch to the jubilant cheers of the Chaffers Field faithful, bolstered by Old Boys who were attending a reunion lunch and the welcome appearance of Paul Deeley.