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Otliensians produced an excellent performance on Saturday to account for the league leaders Hessle and continue to put pressure on them to the end of the season, although Otliensians solitary away draw at Garforth will probably leave them short at the end of the league season.

The home team started strongly with a series of forward drives, with Bonner taking the game in to the heart of the large and well drilled Hessle forwards, recycling was crisp and otliensians were rewarded with a close range penalty from Kristian Keinhorst to secure the 3 - 0 lead after only 4 minutes.

Hessles mixture of former rugby union internationals, past and present rugby league players and imports from other clubs began to test the homes sides resolve, but once again well rehearsed defensive structures proved equal to the early pressure, and it was Otliensians who incresed their lead with a further close range penalty after 13 minutes.

Hessles forwards are a well drilled unit and prompted by their experienced second row and no 8 began to use their pick and drive, together with well constructed mauls to attack the home 8, for whom Arbuckle, Duggan, Grey and Hill defended magnificently, with Hill producing one superb try saving tackle in the left hand corner on the flying fullback who he held up over the line. Hessle were pressing through their backs now, but Lee O'Donnell produced his usual tackling stint in the centre and with Smith at the back directing operations the threats were negated.

Hessle continued to press and after 29 minutes the No 8 managed to drive his way over the line with his pack providing the ballast to narrow the gap to 6 - 5, but it was Otliensians who finished the half stronger with Ratahi and Nick Keinhorst just failing with a flowing move.

The second half started in much the same vein, with Lyons and Chris Myers solid in the scrum and Markus Keinhorst taking his own line out ball whilst disrupting the Hessle ball effectively, and from a line out infringement Smith stepped up to increse the home lead to 9 - 5 after 54 minutes. Tom O'Donnell came on as the impact player and produced a trademark marauding display that seemed to make some of the Hessle players extremely edgey as he mopped them up with big hits.

The Hessle team had not gone through the league season undefeated until this point without being recognised as a competent side and they again began to exert pressure through their forwards, but the defining moments of the game came with a series of Otliensians defensive line outs where they smashed in to the rolling maul not allowing the Hessle forwards an inch, then switched to one of their other defensive strategies which allowed the away forwards to rumble over the line, only to be penalised for the truck and trailer offence.

With Birch utilising the box kick to good effect and Jonathan Woods producing a good display in the art of the chase the pressure was relieved for a time, before Hessle again began to come in to the ascendancy and it was in defence of the line that home forwards Duggan and Bonner were sin binned after 69 and 71 minutes respectively, leaving Otliensians with only 13 men on the pitch. the heroic defence of the line continued and was alleviated by pressure defence and good hands.

At scrum time veteran Paley came on and two strikes against the head ensued, as the home side camped on the Hessle line they succumbed and Smith converted a further penalty after 79 minutes to confirm the win which was greeted with great joy by the large home contingent, who had witnessed another formidable display.

Report supplied by the coach, Gary Walker.



In dreadful conditions, ‘Ensians took on old foes Selby who they defeated in the away game six weeks back. They were fortunate to have experienced fly half Ian Chaplin back on duty after a spell deputising in the 2nd XV and centre Andy Bower filled a gap in the centre.

From the kick-off, the home forwards took control and drove the ball down to the Selby line. After a series of rucks, slick ball along the backs saw centre Sam Gray go over and Chaplin’s conversion gave the hosts a 7 point lead after 5 minutes. With Selby taking time to settle down, two further tries quickly followed from centre Andy Bower and prop Chris Howells. A conversion by Chaplin lifted the score to 19 – 0 after 15 minutes

Selby then came more into the game with some good drives by their big pack, but locks Mark Copping and Andy Wood along with flankers Richard Paley and John Broadbent were in no mood to let them through. With No.8 Alan Garnett dominating the lineouts, half backs Peter Tempest and Chaplin got their backs moving again and the visitors were once more under pressure. Young wingers Liam Copping and Tom Broadbent both had good runs, but good backing up produced the next try for full back Sean Flesher. The conversion by Chaplin and then a bullocking try by lock Andy Wood completed the scoring before the break to put the home side comfortably in front at 31 – 0.

With conditions worsening, Selby tried to keep the game tight, but ‘Ensians still moved the ball wide at every opportunity. When the ball went out to replacement winger Darren Cooley, he outpaced the cover to score wide out after 43 minutes. Although the visitors made forays into the home 22, strong defence kept them out and Tempest produced valuable turnover ball. Good interplay between forwards and backs then took play up to the visitors’line where centre Sam Gray completed the move. Conversions by Chaplin increased the margin to 45 – 0 after 50 minutes.

As Selby tired, ‘Ensians pushed home their advantage with a constant series of attaching moves and Andy Wood was on hand to take the final pass for his second try. This was followed by three more tries from Sean Kennedy, Darren Cooley, for his second, and skipper Alan Garnett rounded off the scoring before the final whistle went. Further conversions from Chaplin took the final score to 69 – 0, the biggest 3rd XV winning margin for many years.

All credit must go to Selby for never giving up and they were unlucky not to score a consolation try. In appalling conditions, the handling by ‘Ensians was superb and the visitors had no answer to the pace the home side had out wide.

The 2nd XV match away at Ripon was cancelled due to late backwords and inability to travel.

Report supplied by John Harrison.