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Old Otliensians 1stXV 3pts vs Baildon 5pts

2009.01.31 Baildon 1stXV (12)  

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In this local derby at the bottom of Yorkshire Division 3, it was the visitors Baildon who showed the greater determination and will to win, gaining the valuable league points and drawing closer to the hosts in the table, now only separated by points difference.

The match started with Otliensians looking in lively mood, penetrating the defence through backs and forwards, leading to a scrum, the home team dominated, and with the award of a penalty Jimmy Keinhorst ensured the 3-0 lead after only 4 minutes. Otliensians then seemed to go in to cruise mode allowing the determined baildon forwards back in to the game, the visitors were a yard quicker to the breakdown, had more go forward and were by far the most aggressive in the contact areas. But still the Otliensians team maintained shape and never really looked like conceding points, but when calmness was needed and Senior players had to show leadership in all areas of the field, it was lacking, and in such a tight game relatively easy penalty shots were spurned for reckless attack, and the writing was on the wall. Particularly when the influential Arbuckle was sin binned after 30 minutes, which indirectly lead to the Baildon breakaway try over 80 metres 3 minutes in to injury time at the end of the half, with Otliensians still reduced to 14 players. As has been the case throughout the season Otliensians concentration lapsed at the end of a half with the same disastrous consequences.

At 5-3 the game was well poised, Baildon now having the elements but lacking any real attacking options they sensibly kicked the ball long and used their pack to soak up the otliensians attacks, which were coming more frequently as the game went on, but as the momentum built the very unfortunate Paley was sin binned for what still remains a mystery. As the game came to its end Otliensians summed up their lack of clear decision making on the day when after waves of attack they were only 10 metres from the line, the Baildon defence was non existent, the overlap beckoned, but an insipid chip to the corner resulted in the final lost opening.

Another week, another defeat by less than a score, another opportunity wasted, but credit must go to the visitors who knew where their own strengths and weaknesses were and played to them efficiently and with a superior desire to win.