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OLD OTLIENSIANS 1st XV 10 pts BURLEY 1st XV 3 pts

Otliensians progressed through to the 6th Round of The EDF Junior Vase with a hard fought victory over a very game Burley side, where they will meet Castleford at home on 12 January, currently leaders of Yorkshire Division 3, which should prove to be an excellent spectacle at Chaffers Field.

For the second week running the conditions at Otliensians were dreadful, with the freezing wind and driving rain making open running play quite difficult, and testing all the players throughout. Otliensians started the more positively producing a series of punishing drives that lead to a series of penalties from which Foster kicked the early 3 point lead after 15 minutes. Burley were being continually penalised for ruck offences and it was no surprise when one of their players was sin binned for this frustrating tactic, which slowed the game to a tempo which the visitors found reasonably comfortable. The main threat from Burley came through their pack, but Otliensians are a very difficult side to break down, and this route and style of play once again proved fruitless against the strongly organised home defence, and it was Otliensians who began to make the hard yards through well constructed phase play, incorporating an outstaning organised rolling maul, and crushing pick and drives around the fringes. This also lead to some outstanding back play with all the team contributing to a first half that was secured, when Arbuckle took line out ball at the tail on the left and charged over for Foster to convert enabling a comfortable 10-0 half time lead.

As conditions deteriorated, handling and constructive play became harder and harder, leading to a mid winter slog, where the younger and fitter Otliensians pack controlled most phases of play, and when the Burley team tried to be a little more adventurous they found the scrambling defence too good for their attacks, which were generally nullified at source. Most of the half settled in to a typical kicking duel, with the only score being a penalty to Burley after 60 minutes, but the control of the Otliensians team was admirable, and in such conditions the potential for both sides to win the game was ever present, but in the end the superior organisation of the home side proved too much for the spirited Burley outfit, who gave everything to the final whistle.

Old Otliensians 2nd XV 30 pts v West Leeds 2nd XV 5 pts

 2007.12.08 074
 A ref in a cagoule, whatever next!

 With the planned fixture against Harrogate Pythons cancelled since the Harrogate team had to play a League fixture, West Leeds 2nd XV, whose 1st XV are in mid table in Yorkshire Three volunteered to travel to Chaffers Fields. On the worst day of the season so far with incessant rain both sides attempted to play rugby in dreadful conditions. For the first time in three weeks the opposition were able to field a front row so contested scrummaging was the order of the day. Otliensians were soon on the score sheet after the pack won good ball on the Leeds 10m line. The ball was moved into the backs and Darren Cooley joined the line from his opposite wing to create  an overlap and score in the corner.After 20 minutes full back Mattie Tenniswood joined the line to score and convert and just before half time he kicked a penalty goal to give the home side a 15 - 0 pts lead at the interval.Tenniswood was again on the score sheet after the break with another penalty. West Leeds came back into the game and scored an unconverted try but the victory was virtually sealed for the Ensians when quick thinking from back row Joe Robinson saw him take a tap penalty from close range to drive over and score. This followed a period of forward pressure from the Ensians.
The final try came from a break by stand -off Kris Keinhorst who sold a dummy on the Leeds 10m line and broke away to score under the posts, Mattie Tenniswood converting.
Throughout the game the scrummages were evenly contested but the lineouts for both sides was problematical. Andy Hayward was again prominent in the centre and Brett Tenniswood filled in capably at scrum half.
This was a reasonable game considering the conditions and reflected a good all round performance from Otliensians.



Following a heavy defeat by ‘Ensians a few weeks back, Viscounts took to the field looking for revenge with their usual robust pack and their back line strengthened by Messrs. Gardner and Darby formerly of Otley 1st XV fame.

In atrocious conditions, both sides tried to move the ball wide and Viscounts’ experienced back line proved to be the more competent in adapting to the greasy ball. In the scrum, the visiting front row of Dave Beardsley, Ben Tetley and Phil Cook had a slight edge on their opponents and their scrum produced good ball.

Once again flanker Dan Ridgway was playing at scrum half and he gave a good service to his experienced partner, Ian Chaplin. Although centres Will Haines and Jim McDougall, made progress, ball was spilled at crucial moments and promising moves came to nothing. Play was even for ten minutes until Otley developed a sweeping move which produced a good try under the posts. The conversion gave them a 7 – 0 lead.

Both sides still endeavoured to play open rugby and the ‘Ensians pack, with their nudge in the scrums, took play to the Otley line. Good drives by Ridgway, locks Andy Wood and Mark Copping produced chances, but untidy handling meant these came to nothing. Just as it looked as though the visiting backs had produced an overlap, the Otley centre intercepted and ran 50 yards to score half way out. The failed conversion gave the home side a 12 – 0 lead after 25 minutes.

‘Ensians fought back with Chaplin gaining valuable position through long raking kicks. In the lineouts, Alan Garnett and Sam Tetley were producing good ball considering the conditions, but just before the break, Tetley was injured and Richard Wardak came on as replacement. Also Liam Copping and Darren Hamilton had to come on in the back division when Ian Chaplin and Jim McDougall sustained injuries. Steve Robinson also came on at hooker for Ben Tetley.

In the second half, the Otley pack began producing better quality ball for their talented back line and Otliensians defence was stretched on several occasions. The back three of Sam Grey, Sean Flesher and Steve Lofthouse defended strongly to keep Otley at bay, but an overlap saw the home winger round the cover to score near the posts. The conversion left ‘Ensians trailing by 19 – 0 after 55 minutes.

With the ’Ensians lineout now struggling to produce good ball in the ever-worsening conditions, Viscounts mounted several promising attacks, but for the most part the visiting back row of Chris Howells, Alan Garnett and Richard Wardak rose to the challenge. With ten minutes remaining, the Otley pack produced a turnover and slick handling by their backs put the winger over in the corner to push the score to 24 – 0.

In the final minute, a good break by young ‘Ensians winger Liam Copping took play to the Otley line, but the final pass went to ground, robbing the visitors of a consolation try. As always against their old foes, this was a game played in a good spirit with quality rugby coming from both sides, despite the appalling conditions. The handling by Viscounts’ back line was first class and this gave them the edge. Credit must also go to stand-in referee Micky Peel for his competent and cheerful stewardship of the game.

Next Saturday the 1st XV travel to Northallerton for a League fixture and are joined by the 3rd XV whilst the 2nd XV are scheduled to play Northallerton 2nd at Chaffers Fields.