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Otliensians 1st XV 13 - West Park Leeds 16


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Two divisions had separated these local rivals last season and this looked to be the case at the beginning of the game when West Park started with some accomplished play and took the lead after only 3 minutes with a well executed front peel at a line out, which lead to the flanker running to the right corner unopposed, with the home defence falling asleep, which proved to be the decisive factor in the final analysis. West Park continued to press, with slick back play and powerful forward drives, and deserved to increase their lead after 11 minutes to 8-0 with a penalty.

It seems that Otliensians have a tendency to a slow start this season, but they began to come back in to the game gaining 50 metres with some excellent movement in the back line, Ratahi and Cooper to the fore, leading to a penalty for Foster after 16 minutes. This proved to be the only other score of the half, but the home sides ambition could now clearly be seen, with Foster showing incisive skills at fly half showcased with one dummy and run after 27 minutes that left the West Park defence in tatters. Following another dominant scrum, Duggan seemed to very clearly touch down for the home side, but the referee remained unsighted and West Parks well organised defence survived.

West Park opened strongly in the 2nd half, but were again soon on the back foot, when after strong forward drives from Otliensians a penalty was awarded on the right, the home side decided to opt for the scrum. The decision was vindicated as they drove the West Park pack backwards, to work right wing Hammond in to the corner for his first ever Otliensians score after 46 minutes, at 8-8 the game was finely poised. Otliensians immediately pressed again, and after some more determined work, good line out ball on the right, resulted in two powerful drives to the line for prop Bonner to force himself over for the 13-8 lead after 53 minutes.

West Park again showed their mettle and slowly began to gain territory, and there was cut and thrust in mid field before the defining period of the game when the referee very harshly awarded a yellow card against Tom Woods for an alleged high tackle, that at its most grievous hit his opponent on the shoulder as he ducked in. This seemed to re energise the West Park team who again began to look well organised with good lines of running and aggresive forward drives, however the depleted Otliensians forced their way up field and Foster was awarded a penalty after 70 minutes. The crowd watched as the ball agonisingly hit the post, the home team retreated for wht they thought would be a drop out, but West Park attacked down the right wing, he kept running, the defence seemed to be tracking him, he kept running and scored a wonderful try as he was tackled in the corner flag. Another lapse of concentration by Otliensians, another try conceded to level the scores at 13-13.

West Park were now sensing the victory, and after 78 minutes they were awarded a penalty that was superbly converted by the centre, the game was over for Otliensians, the great escape completed by West Park.

Report supplied by the coach, Gary Walker.



For their first ever visit to Huddersfield 3rds in this Merit Table encounter, ‘Ensians hit heavy traffic en route and the kick off had to be delayed until 3.45 pm. On top of this, when they saw the size of the opposition pack, they realised they were in for a difficult afternoon.

From the off, the home side put ‘Ensians under a lot of pressure and their big forwards had the edge in the scrums which made life difficult for half backs Aiden Carr and Dominic Oddy. After three minutes Huddersfield took the lead with a penalty, but as the visitors settled down, they hit back with a superb try by centre Sam Grey who sliced through from 25 yards out. The conversion by full back Matt Tenniswood gave ‘Ensians a 7 – 3 lead after 8 minutes.

Realising they may not have things all their own way, the home side used their forwards to drive through a lineout for their second try and a penalty soon after gave them a 11 – 7 lead on 23 minutes. ‘Ensians backs were now coming more into the game and with full back Tenniswood joining the line at pace, play moved into the Huddersfield half. When they transgressed, Tenniswood kicked a long-range penalty to lift the score to creditable 11 – 10 to the home side on 30 minutes.

In the remaining ten minutes of the half, the home side added a penalty and scored another try through their robust pack. With the last play of the half, Matt Tenniswood converted his second penalty to make the score a respectable 19 – 13 at the break.

Having the upper hand in both scrums and lineouts and seeing the pace of the ‘Ensians backs, Huddersfield’s tactics in the second half relied more and more on their dominant pack. Starved of ball for long periods, the visitors had to defend valiantly with the back row of Peter Gillson, Andy Bower and Joe Robinson always to the fore. Pressure told and two more converted tries were scored by the home side on 47 and 55 minutes to make the score 33 – 13.

With the heat and the opposition pack gradually taking their toll, ‘Ensians began to tire in the last ten minutes when Huddersfield ran in a further try and kicked another penalty to produce the final score of 43 – 13.

This was a game where ‘Ensians were very much in contention at half time, but the large Huddersfield pack gradually wore them down and an injury to skipper Andy Hayward added to the visitors’ problems. ‘Ensians’ backs played some enterprising rugby and the whole side could take credit for a spirited defence.

Report supplied by John Harrison.

‘Ensians B team game was cancelled when visitors Selby could not raise a 5th team.