WEST LEEDS 19 - OLD OTLIENSIANS 23
Otliensians began their new season in
Yorkshire Division 3 with an away win at West Leeds, which proved that they
have the skill levels to compete in the higher company, but also gave a
perfect demonstration that the teams in this League will all provide
competitive matches at a good standard.
As was expected west Leeds began strongly, with their No 8 and centres
penetrating and probing the Otliensians defence, but the defence held firm
with one particular tackle on the line by Jimmy Keinhorst proving crucial.
The pressure told and after 6 minutes the home side took a deserved lead
through a well struck penalty. West Leeds continued to press with well
constructed back moves, but on 9 minutes Nick Keinhorst on the left wing
seized the opportunity when he intercepted and raced 80 metres to the posts,
Foster converted for the early 7-3 advantage.
West Leeds again came back immediately and used the ball intelligently
through a number of phases for the right wing to score on 13 minutes wide
out, the conversion was missed, but Otliensians knew that the pace and
intensity of this division was a step up and began to adapt accordingly. The
pack began to win ball, and a 70 metre attack down the right involving Jimmy
Keinhorst and Todd Hammond was only thwarted by the touch judge signalling
fa oot in, when the try seemed to have been scored. the pressure was
building and Otliensians had their reward when Foster kicked a penalty after
29 minutes. Arbuckle was picking from the scrum well, gaining ground, and
from one such situation Cooper followed with a weaving 50 metre run, for the
supporting Hill to narrowly miss the try scoring opportunity. Late in the
half the sides exchanged penalties for a satisfactort Otlienesians 13-11
lead at half time.
The second half began in exactly the same way as the first, with West Leeds
playing excellent attacking rugby, Otliensians defending well, with openside
Dyson covering the ground, supported by Duggan and Grey, and a dominant
Otliensians scrum ensuring parity of ball supply. In what was a carbon copy
of their first try, West Leeds swung the ball from wing to wing and again
scored wide on the right to break the second half deadlock on the hour and
take a deserved 16-13 lead. This was extended after 64 minutes, when finding
the suffocating Otliensians defence hard to penetrate, the home side opted
for the drop goal.
It was now Otliensians who were in the ascendency, playing their own brand
of 15 man rugby, resulting in a further Foster penalty after 72 minutes, and
at 19-16 behind, the stage was set for an exciting finale and it was fitting
that on 77 minutes Bougham, Lyon, Hanogue, Bonner, Hill and Tom Woods were
rewarded for their outstanding scrummaging, when they drove the home side
back from a 5 metre scrum for Arbuckle to again pick and dive over, Foster
compled a 100% kicking performance and the game was won at 23-19.
OLD OTLIENSIANS A 56 – OLD RISHWORTHIANS A
With centre Andy Hayward leading the side for
the first time as skipper, this Merit Table game was dominated by ‘Ensians
with the pack well on top thus enabling the backs to play in their customary
attacking style. Wingmen Peter Gillson and Darren Cooley scored hat tricks
and the forwards contributed with tries by hooker Ross Myers, lock Chris
Hayward and two tries by flanker Joe Robinson. There were three conversions
by full back Matt Tenniswood who had difficulty kicking in the long grass.
The score line could have been greater if ‘Ensians had made more of their
opportunities when perhaps an increased awareness of supporting runners
would have helped. However, some credit should be given to Rishworthians who
never let their heads drop and who tackled valiantly throughout against a
much faster and capable side.
The half back pair of Aiden Carr and Dominic Oddy distributed the ball well,
providing ample opportunities for the backs to show their running skills,
but on occasions, a better alignment might have avoided forward passes. Both
Gillson and Cooley ran well for their tries and they were ably supported by
centre Sam Grey and Matt Tenniswood, whose strong running helped to maintain
the territorial advantage.
All the forwards played well, with Myers and Joe Robinson to the fore. For
the first game of the season, this was generally a very satisfactory
performance, and, with some fine tuning, there is no reason why the team
should not repeat or better last season’s successful record.
OLD OTLIENSIANS B 24 - WETHERBY A 19
‘Ensians 3rds took to the field in warm
sunshine for their opening match of the season and from the kick-off, the
home pack took play up to the visitors’ line. Several strong forward drives
led by Andy Wood and Mark Copping came close before Copping went over after
eight minutes. Jim McDougall converted. Shortly after this, ‘Ensians were
unlucky to loose newcomer Martin Farrington with a finger injury. Andy Wood
filled the centre vacancy and Chris Howells came on at lock.
As Wetherby settled down, their robust pack started getting more ball and
their useful backs came into the game. The home side contained them with
good tackling by scrum half Peter Tempest and flankers Richard Paley and Ray
Drake. When play eventually moved back into the visitors’ half, the
visitors’ speedy winger took advantage of an unmarked blind side to run
sixty yards and score in the corner. A superb kick by the same player
levelled the scores at 7 apiece after twenty five minutes.
Play remained fairly even for most of the first half until lively scrum half
Tempest drove through two tackles to score under the posts on 38 minutes.
McDougall slotted the conversion to give the home side a 14 – 7 lead.
Immediately, Wetherby put together a good back move, but a spilled ball in
the home 22 saw young centre Liam Copping snap it up and outpace the cover
to score a superb opportunist try on half time. McDougall’s conversion
stretched the home side’s lead to 21 – 7.
‘Ensians began the second period in similar vein with strong running by fly
half McDougall and centres Wood and Copping. With Alan Garnett and Ben
Tetley gaining good possession in the lineout and the scrums holding their
own, the pressure was all on Wetherby and when they strayed offside, Wood
converted a penalty on 53 minutes to lift the score to 24 – 7. At this
stage, perhaps assuming the game was won, the home side took its foot of the
gas and Wetherby began to dominate territorially. Wingers Steve Lofthouse
and Sam Tetley did well in defence and full back Sean Flesher was called on
to make several last-ditch tackles.
Again, after good support play, the visiting winger went over wide out and
converted to make the score 24 – 14 on 60 minutes and it was ‘Ensians turn
to defend for long periods. To make matters worse, centre Andy Wood had to
go off with a rib injury to be replaced by Darryl Hamilton. On 70 minutes,
Wetherby went over half way out and, although the conversion failed, this
pushed the score to 24 – 19 and boosted the confidence of the visitors.
In the closing minute, with Wetherby driving for the line, props Chris Myers
and Scott Child forced a turnover and Jim McDougall cleared the line with a
mammoth kick. With the seconds ticking away, veteran scrum half Tempest
fought for possession and kicked to touch seal victory at 24 – 19.
This entertaining game could have gone either way, but the tackling skills
of the home side in the second half tipped the scales in their favour.
Reports supplied by the coach, Gary Walker,
Philip Drake & John Harrison.