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Old Otliensians secured promotion on Saturday with a well earned victory in the rain and mud of fierce local rivals Old Modernians, despite have many players unavailable, and securing the services of the oldest subs bench on record.

Otliensians started ferociously from the kick off driving their opponents first to the left, then sweeping them to the right over seven phases, before stand off Foster scored the try after just 90 seconds, the conversion giving the perfect start. The conditions were already dire, and the home side replied after 4 minutes with a well taken penalty following what can only be described as mystery infringements, which were to frustrate and plague both sides throughout the entire game.

The Otliensians forwards were in the ascendancy, and lock Tom Woods charged down a kick near the home line to register the second try after just 11 minutes, but then followed a real slog in the mud, with Otliensians using their forward patterns and good running lines in the backs to penetrate, whilst Modernians utilised the kicking game of their stand off, who converted long range penalties after 34 minutes and in the 5th minute of added time at the interval for a narrow 12-9 Otliensians lead at the break.

Playing up the slope in the second half Otliensians full back Kristian Keinhorst kicked the relieving penalty after 52 minutes before following Foster on to the sidelines with yet another Otliensians injury. Otliensians know how to starve the opposition of possession in atrocious conditions, and this day was no different with the pick and drive sapping the energy of the Modernians defenders and astute kicking penning the home team in their own half. The 3rd Otliensians try was scored when Walker, who had come off the bench at stand off, hoisted a high cross field kick which was fumbled by the defence for Hill to score near the left hand corner in the ensuing confusion, with Walker adding the conversion the two points were secured in the 63rd minute, with the celebrations beginning as soon as the final whistle was blown.

This game was a testament to the strength in depth of Otliensians, with Cooley and Chris Myers having good games, and Arbuckle, Hanogue, Bonner, Grey, and the O'Donnell brothers showing remarkable defensive qualities when Modernians began to show a threat in the latter stages when they were forced to chase the game.

With 4 games remaining the goal is to now to take Hessle to their final game against Bramley in the pursuit of a potential first place, the next league fixture at home against the league leaders on 29 March will be a benchmark to measure how Otliensians have progressed during the season.

Report supplied by the coach, Gary Walker.


As Ilkley 2nds beat ‘Ensians 1st XV in the Aire- Wharfe Cup final two years back, the hosts were expecting strong opposition and this turned out to be the case. From the start, Ilkley launched a series of attacks through their young capable backs and they were soon 7 points up after 10 minutes.

Veteran half backs Peter Tempest and Peter Gilson steadied the ship and the back row of Jason Stebbings, Alan Garnett and John Brown put in some strong tackles. Good interplay between the Ilkley forwards and backs created another try to stretch their lead to 12 points and as half time approached another well-worked try with conversion took the score to 17 – 0 in the visitors’ favour.

The home scrum with front row Steve Robinson, Ben Tetley and Chris Howells had been holding up well against their strong opponents, but early into the second half, an injury to Robinson lead to uncontested scrums. This gave the home backs more opportunities and soon young centres Sam Grey and Liam Copping were making inroads into Ilkley territory. Full back Sean Flesher was pulled down a yard short and soon afterwards, winger Steve Lofthouse was similarly unlucky.

Although the visitors had the edge in the lineout, the home pack was now putting together some good drives through locks Andy Wood and Mark Copping. Pressure on the Ilkley line saw Wood go over only to be held up. For the remainder of the second half, ‘Ensians had the edge, but the Ilkley defence held firm to leave the final score at 17 – 0 to the visitors.

This was a good team performance by ‘Ensians against a good Ilkley side strengthened by four second-teamers and they were unlucky not to get on the scoreboard in the second half.

Report supplied by John Harrison.