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Old Otliensians 2ndXV more vs Ilkley 3rdXV less

  2007.04.22 Ilkley 3rds 072

see some photos here!


In making the trip to neighbours Modernians, ‘Ensians were expecting to face the strong side which won a close game earlier in the season. However, their luck was out when they learned that they were playing the only Mods side on duty with the assumption that any vacancies could be filled from above.

Playing up the slope into a stiff breeze it was clear that once again, ‘Ensians were up against big fast opposition. After only 5 minutes, a sweeping move by the home side produced a try under the posts and a similar one followed after another 10 minutes to put the visitors 14 points down. The lineouts were working well for ‘Ensians with Sam Gray and Alan Garnett producing clean ball for half backs Pete Boultby and Lee O’Donnell. The problem was that the defence was coming up so fast that centres Til Leccisotti and Jason Babb had little chance to gain ground.

The visitors made a rare incursion into Mods half through good driving play from Tom O’Donnell, Andy Wood and Alan Harker. After several close attempts, the home side infringed, but the penalty went wide. Stirred on by this, Mods responded with a series of attacks from their speedy backs. Their forwards provided good possession and support so that by half time they had run in five more tries to give them a lead of 43 – 0.

With the wind and slope favouring them and a good team talk by skipper Chris Myers, ‘Ensians set off after the break in a much more determined fashion. Ray Drake came on to replace plucky winger Dan Garnett. The front row of Myers, Steve Robinson and Dave Beardsley started producing much cleaner ball from the scrums and Til Leccisotti, now at fly half, pushed play deep into the home territory with some searching kicks. Just when a score looked likely, spilled ball fell into Mods hands and their speedy winger took a pass to put him in under the posts. Undaunted by this setback, the visitors attacked again through Babb and Lee O’Donnell. Pressure near the line saw good backing up by full back, Sean Flesher, and winger John Offer to put lock Alan Harker over in the corner on 50 minutes.

The conversion failed, but ‘Ensians now had their tails up and good interplay between forwards and backs again put pressure on the home defence. A penalty relieved the situation for Modernians and they worked their way the field to score half way out. The failed conversion gave them a 55 – 5 lead with 10 minutes remaining. The visitors responded with strong running from Babb and Wood with good backing up by Boultby and Gray. From broken play in the home 22, Tom O’Donnell shrugged off two tackles and went over wide out. The failed conversion left ‘Ensians trailing by 55 points to 10.

The remainder of the half was made up of ‘Ensians pressure, but with the Mods powerful backs making ground every time the ball went loose. With the final score at 55 – 10, ‘Ensians could take much credit for a good second half and for never giving up against a much stronger and more experienced outfit. The B XV can take much satisfaction from an enjoyable season which saw a steady improvement in overall performance and a continuation of their excellent team spirit.