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 2007.09.08 Ripon 001
Mon General takes charge

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With the visitors arriving short of several players, ‘Ensians filled the gap with volunteers to provide a fourteen-a-side game, albeit they had to make do with uncontested scrums. Ripon had the best of the early exchanges and they went 3 – 0 up after five minutes through a penalty.

With the home pack containing former first XV forwards Phil Cook, Richard Smith and Tony Myers, they soon established an edge and a good supply of ball enabled half backs Ben Newall and Will Haines to put centres Andy Hayward and newcomer Nick Keinhorst away. Through good backing-up by the back row of Matt Taylor and Joe Robinson, Hayward went over for a try after fifteen minutes. The conversion failed giving ‘Ensians a narrow 5 – 3 lead.

With loaned players Steve Robinson, Johnny Saunders and Alan Garnett having good games for Ripon, the home side was not finding it easy and full back Sean Flesher had to make some last minute clearances to keep the visitors at bay. Loose ball was snapped up by winger Darren Cooley who kicked ahead, gathered and found Nick Keinhorst, the third Keinhorst brother to play for the Club, on his elbow to go in for a fine try from thirty yards. Ben Newall converted to put ‘Ensians 12 – 3 up after 20 minutes.

Lock Richard Smith then come to the fore with a rampaging run and quickly recycled ball enabled No.8 Matt Taylor to go over half way out. With forwards and backs moving the ball well, ‘Ensians were now comfortably on top and Andy Bower was on the end of good inter-passing to score near the posts. Ben Newall’s conversion gave the home side a 24 – 3 lead as half time arrived.

After the break Ripon were strengthened by ‘Ensians former 1st XV hooker Richard Paley making his first appearance after a long lay-off through injury. With Alan Harker replacing an injured visiting player, the Ripon pack showed more determination and it was mid-way through the second period before ‘Ensians winger Richard Cuff shrugged off several attempted tackles to score an excellent try. Newall converted to extend the lead to 31 – 3.

Three minutes later a sweeping move by the home side saw Richard Smith backing up to blast his way through a tiring defence to go over the line. This was followed soon afterwards by good interplay between forwards and backs to give Andy Bower his second try. Conversions by Ben Newall gave ‘Ensians a convincing 45 – 3 result.

At this early stage of the season with players on holiday or involved in cricket, credit must go to Ripon for turning up and contributing to an enjoyable afternoon.

Report supplied by the coach, John Harrison.