HARROGATE PYTHONS 5 OLD OTLIENSIANS 29
Otliensians made the short trip to Harrogate
in Round 4 of the EDF National Junior Vase and came away with a
comprehensive victory, despite not being at their best for large sections of
the game, in the difficult playing conditions.
Otliensians had the dream start, when straight from the kick off the ball
was regathered, two forward drives ensued, with Birch at the base
identifying the space behind the Harrogate defence, he chipped for the
flying Ratahi to gather the ball over the line for a try after barely 30
seconds, Foster struck an excellent conversion in to the wind that just
Otliensians continued to press throughout the half, when with more patient
execution of the final passes further scores would have ensued, but
Harrogate defended well at the contact situations and posed their own threat
through their powerful centre partnership, prompted by the very good play of
the home scrum half, who was excellent throughout.
A lead of 5-0 at half time playing against the elements was a satisfactory
return, and once again a very committed start to the second half proved to
be the platform for a more dynamic 40 minutes, starting in the 44th when
from a penalty close to the Harrogate line, a well timed move lead to Bonner
scoring the first of his brace, Foster converting for the 12-0 advantage.
Otliensians were reduced to 14 men after 48 minutes, when a harsh yellow
card, awarded for not rolling away in the tackle seemed to inspire the team
even further. The 7 man Otliensians scrum forced the home pack on the
defensive, and swift clinical hands across the back division from left to
right gave Jon Woods the opportunity to glide in to the corner after 51
Harrogate then had their best spell of the game, driving through the middle
and releasing their right wing on a dangerous run, however the Otliensians
defence held firm, but another series of penalties lead to the home hooker
crashing over for a deserved score after 58 minutes, reducing the deficit to
The remaining quarter of the game was dominated by the visitors who by this
time were playing attractive 15 men rugby, with Harrogate defending stoutly
and contributing their own more sporadic attacks. After 70 minutes Nicky
Keinhorst completed another flowing move for the fourth try, but the best
was left for last. In the 75th minute, Otliensians, for the first time in
the afternoon, completed several phases of their well rehearsed and
constructed game plan, both penetrating and moving the ball with ease from
wing to wing, before being held up close to the line on the left, for the
inside pass to find the rampaging Bonner for the touch down, the conversion
from Foster sealed the 29-5 victory, setting up a home 5th Round tie against
Burley on 8 December.
Old Otliensians 2nd XV 72 pts v Halifax
Vandals 2nd XV 0 pts
view all photos here
as a slideshow here
Continuing their good run of form Otliensians
scored steadily throughout the game against a Vandals side who could not
muster a front row , scrums thus being uncontested an all too frequent
occurrence this season.
Centre Andy Hayward was first on the score sheet after Brett Tenniswood took
the opposition throw in their 22 m. Hayward was the architect of the second
try 10 mins later scooping up the ball on the run to Ben Newall who
completed. Wing Darren Cooley finished a good team try after some really
excellent handling and interplay between forwards and backs before wing
Richard Cuff took the advantage of fast hands in midfield to outpace the
defence to score the fourth try. Neil Barlow at stand off scored the final
try of the half after a planned short linout move involving Ross Myers and
with Barlow converting two of the tries the home side had a comfortable 29 -
0 pts lead at the break.
Barlow was soon on the try sheet in the second half after a quick throw - in
by alert full back Mattt Tenniswood and shortly after back row Joe Robinsoon
finished off a typical Cuff charge. Cooley notched up his second try
following quick passing from a tap penalty and soon after Barlow outstripped
the defence from 50m. Cooley completed his hat trick after a good carry by
prop Tony Myers took the ball from his own 10m line into the Vandals 22m.
Matt Tenniswood provided the overlap for the next try and the scoring was
completed by centre Andy Bower after a strong run by Robinson, Barlow
converting four further tries in the second half.
Another good all round performance from the Ensians with an exemplary
performance from Barlow and good games from Hayward and full back Matt
Tenniswood with brother Brett king of the lineout and Robinson in the back
row all over the park.
HALIFAX VANDALS B 25 - OLD OTLIENSIANS B 17
‘Ensians arrived at Vandals to find the local
weather living up to its reputation of mist accompanied by cold, driving
rain. Finding they were one man short, hooker Ben Tetley quickly rounded up
his brother Dave to play his first game of rugby at flanker.
The visitors set off at a cracking pace and half backs Til Lecisotti and
Michael Philpott soon got their backs moving. Centres Jason Babb and Steve
Lofthouse made big inroads into Vandals territory and flanker Dan Ridgway
was on hand for the first try after 3 minutes. Two minutes later, winger
Darren Hamilton was on the end of strong runs by Babb and Sean Flesher to
score the second. Lecisotti converted to provide a 12 – 0 lead after 5
The Halifax backs were made up of veterans and at this stage they realised
that they could not cope with the pace of their opponents and that ten-man
rugby was the order of the day. The referee was slow about the pitch and to
make matters worse, he pulled a hamstring. To his credit, he managed to
hobble about for the rest of the game, but he was woefully behind play.
This gave the big home pack the chance to kill the ball at every opportunity
and, in the wet conditions, they scrambled two unconverted tries to make the
score 12 – 10 to ‘Ensians at half time.
Although outweighed, the visiting pack with front row Chris Howells, Ben
Tetley and Adam Mudd did well in the scrums and Chris Hayward and Alan
Garnett took their fair share of ball in the lineouts. The problem for
‘Ensians was obtaining ball from the rucks and mauls where Halifax were
constantly allowed to dive over and to come in from the side.
As the game progressed in the worsening conditions, Vandals scored three
more unconverted tries to give them a 25 – 12 lead. ‘Ensians forwards Adam
Mudd and lock Mark Copping put in some strong drives to take play into the
opposition half. The ball was moved slickly and centre Jason Babb made a
good run to score wide out. The conversion failed to leave the final score
at 25 – 17 to Vandals.
This was a match which could have gone ‘Ensians way, but with the referee
struggling to keep up, their supply of good ball dried up. Nevertheless, it
was played in a good spirit and young flanker Tetley did well on his debut.
On Saturday in the League the 1st XV have a tricky trip to Hemsworth, with Hemsworth 2nd and Harrogate Pirates visiting Chaffers Fields, all
KO at 2:15pm.