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Old Otliensians 2ndXV 19 pts vs Aireborough 2ndXV 19 pts

  2009.02.14 Aireborough 2ndXV (11)

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Old Otliensians 3rdXV 49 pts vs Aireborough 3rdXv 0 pts

 2009.02.14 Aireborough 3rdXV (18)

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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.