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 2008.01.05 Garforth 180
Lee O'Donnell scores Ensians second try against Garforth

more photos here or the slideshow here

Otliensians continued in their winning ways on Saturday, registering their 14th consecutive undefeated game with a solid league victory to mark the half way point of the season, against a big, robust Garforth side who bely their position at the lower end of the table.

Garforth choose to use the elements, including the gale force wind in the first half, and from the start made their intentions clear with a very strong driving game, and were camped on the home line for the first 10 minutes, battering the Otliensians defence. The line was breached once, with the referee ruling that the Garforth forward had been held up, and once again the excellent Otliensians defensive organisation had wetheared the early storm. As has been the case all season the Otliensians team then showed their handling and offloading ability to relieve the pressure with a flowing move from a 5 metre scrum, with Arbuckle, Hill and Markus Keinhorst to the fore, feeding the alert middle backs for Ratahi to round his winger to gain 60 metres, and gain a foothold in Garforth territory for the first time. The first half followed this relentless pattern, Garforth pressing with the elements, Otliensians repelling every attack, then showing superb hands to relieve the pressure, with the effort epitomised by scrum half Birch producing some outstanding tackles.

The half time score remained at 0-0, and the more inventive home side looked forward to a more expansive second half, which had the perfect beginning when within a minute of the restart Markus Keinhorst had touched down in the left hand corner. From the kick off Otliensians rucked their opponents off the ball, Hill continued with a strong charge, feeding Kristian Keinhorst who seeing the space kicked cleverly for the corner for his brother to touch down. Withing 5 minutes Otliensians had their second score, when Bonner, Myers, Lyon & Grey made hug inroads into the Garforth defence on the left, the ball was tranferred through quick hands to the right for Woods to show his pace around the outside, an inside ball to the supporting Lee O'Donnell lead to his superb finish and the 10-0 lead.

Garforth rallied and continued to attack through their powerful pack and strong running centres reducing the arrears with a deserved 55th minute penalty, this was compounded after 58 minutes when Boughan was sin binned for an offence that still remains a mystery to the team. This did not however affect the momentum of the game, with Tenniswood controlling the lines, and Foster and Smith showing their experience, another series of Otliensians forward drives saw Grey crash over in the 62nd minute for Kristian Keinhorst to convert.

As the conditions deteriorated the referee decided to call a halt to proceedings a little early, and the home team had a deserved victory, although Garforth should take some of the plaudits after a very good team effort, that on another day would have produced a better result against opponents who might not have been as committed to their defensive duties.


Garforth 2nd XV  5 pts  v Old Otliensians 2nd XV 56 pts

In a good pipe opener to start off the New Year after the Christmas break, Garforth played to a level higher than the score would suggest and contested scrums were for once maintained throughout the whole game.

The home side were first on the score sheet driving Otliensians over from a 5m line out after 10 mins. A short time after Dale Kennedy took a good ball in a lineout on the 'Ensians 10 m line which was quickly transferred to stand off Neil Barlow who made 40m set up a ruck and eventually received the ball from the same to score.On 25 mins No 8 Lance Armstrong picked up at a scrum 15m out to score and give the visitors the lead. At this stage the Otliensians pack were starting to get on top and a period of pressure gave the chance for full back Mattie Tenniswood to increase the lead with a penalty.Shortly after centre Andy Bower stole the ball from a ruck some 35m out to score and Tenniswood converted. Just on half time after a period of strong pressure the pack won the ball  on the Garforth 22m with a good forward drive. The ball came to centre Michael Cook who skillfully side-stepped the opposition to score , Tenniswood again converting to give the 'Ensiand a 5 - 27 pts lead at the break.


After the restart Garforth upped the tempo but it was Otliensians who scored after 10 mins following a slick handling move which began in mid field and wing Darren Cooley completed.At this stage the Otliensians pack were in commanding form and Armstrong notched his second try from a 5m scrum with Tenniswood adding the the conversion. Relaxing is always a danger and Garforth were allowed to come back into the game . They attacked well and broke through several times only to be thwarted by cover tackles from Barlow. Otliensians re- established some pattern to their play and wing forward Toby Balthop burrowed over from a 5m lineout to score and soon after Tenniswood added another penalty goal. The final try  came after a set scrum and a class handling move saw Cook score his second try taking several defenders with him, Tenniswood converting.

 The game was played in a good spirit and Garforth just never stopped trying. Andy Hayward in the backs had another strong game and Ben Smith filling in a scrum half did well. Armstrong, Barlow and hooker Ben Tetley also made excellent contributions.


 2008.01.05 Garforth 263
Dan bullocks his way into the corner for Ensians 1st try

more photos here or the slideshow here

For this local derby the sun shone periodically and, for a change, the pitch was firm. ‘Ensians were first into the attack through their experienced half back pair of Peter Gilson and Ian Chaplin, but the visitors’ backs held firm and turnover ball was used to mount a counter attack. Although Aireborough fielded a big pack, in the scrums the home front row of Scott Child, Steve Robinson and Adam Mudd comfortably held its own.

Both sides moved the ball wide regularly, but with centres Sam Grey and Michael Philpott tackling well for the home side, Aireborough’s attacks rarely looked dangerous. With the sides evenly matched, the first hint of a score came on 25 minutes when Philpott made a good break and put fellow centre Grey away. However, the visitors’ cover was up to the job and he was stopped on the line. ‘Ensians continued to press and after ‘Borough went offside, Chaplin was narrowly adrift with a penalty.

Flanker Sam Tetley had been having a fine game, but after a rib injury, he was replaced by experienced forward Richard Paley as half time approached. Play moved from end to end, but at the break there was no score.

After a rousing team talk by skipper Alan Garnett, ‘Ensians drove into their opponents from the kick off and gained a good territorial advantage. In the lineouts, Garnett and Paley were producing good ball and there were some excellent driving, mauls putting the visitors under pressure. Behind the pack was Gilson with his sniping runs and dummies and outside him were the good hands and fine boot of Ian Chaplin producing astute kicks in attack and defence.

Play was still very even on 65 minutes, but the stalemate was broken when Aireborough offended on their 22 and Chaplin kicked the penalty from half way out. Veteran flanker Peter Tempest came on for Ray Drake and his experience helped to put more pressure on the visitors. They now the had to fend off a succession of rampaging runs from locks Dan Ridgeway and Andy Wood and props Scott Child and Adam Mudd. Eventually, the pressure told and Ridgeway went over in the corner. A superb conversion by Chaplin into the wind put the home side ahead 10-0 with 10 minutes remaining.

Aireborough were far from finished and their lively fly half set up a good move which took play deep into the opposition 22. The home back three of Dan Garnett, Sean Flesher and Darren Hamilton had to pull all the stops out to prevent a score. The visitors were now running the ball from everywhere and a dropped pass on their own 22 was scooped up by home centre Philpott who outpaced the cover to score a fine try. Stand-in kicker Mudd narrowly missed with the conversion to leave the final score at 15 – 0.

In a quality game played in an excellent spirit, credit must go to both sides. ‘Ensians eventually came out on top through their vigorous tackling and their continuous hounding of their opponents all afternoon. Referee Derek Smith ran proceedings in his usual firm and good-humoured manner.


Next Saturday the 1st XV play Castleford at home in the 6th round of the RFU EDF Vase. Castleford are leading Yorkshire League 3 , a Division above Otliensians. Kick off  at Chaffers Field is at 200pm and a keen contest is anticipated.