Old Otliensians 2ndXV 19 pts vs Aireborough
2ndXV 19 pts
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Old Otliensians 3rdXV 49 pts vs Aireborough
3rdXv 0 pts
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With Aireborough’s pitch frozen, the match was switched at the last minute
to ‘Ensians where there was a good covering of grass. From the start the
home side spread the ball wide and within minutes young newcomer Ben Harlow
on the wing showed his pace by linking up with the back row to go over wide
out. He followed this soon afterwards with a jinking run from sixty yards
and he again showed his speed taking his hat trick score from a blind side
move. With a conversion and penalty from fly half Hugh Gumbs, Otliensians
built up a 20 point lead after 25 minutes.
The score did not reflect the full story because Aireborough were very much
in the game through their hard-working pack. On several occasions, they
pounded the home side’s line with only determined defence keeping them at
bay. The home back row of Peter Tempest, Alan Garnett and Ben Tetley were a
constant thorn in the visitors’ side and when they turned ball over, half
backs Richard Paley and Hugh Gumbs were ready to mount counter-attacks. Good
backing up by Tempest produced another try and at half time, ‘Ensians had
established a comfortable lead of 25 – 0.
At the break, Sam Tetley and Peter Bonner came on for ’Ensians and from the
off, both sides played some excellent open rugby, with Aireborough coming
close on twice. With the lineouts and scrums being fairly even, the good
supply of ball gave opportunities for some flowing rugby and it was on 50
minutes that home centre, Rob Grey cut through to score half way out.
Territorially, the visitors were having the better of the exchanges, but
spilled ball was punished by long booming clearances from Hugh Gumbs. Again
a swift counter-attack produced a try from full back Sean Flesher after good
work by winger Steve Lofthouse and centre Graham Bentley and the conversion
by Gumbs lifted the score to 37 – 0 after 63 minutes.
Aireborough were far from finished and they took play to the ‘Ensians’ line
where they drove close on three occasions with only resolute defence by the
back row and locks Robin Devereaux and Mark Copping preventing a breach.
Pace and good backing up told on the tiring visitors and Bonner and Sam
Tetley went over for the final two tries. A further conversion from Gumbs
made the final score 49 – 0.
This was an entertaining match played in an excellent spirit and credit must
go to Aireborough for never giving up in a game where the score probably
flattered the home side.