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Old Otliensians 1stXV 22 pts vs Doncaster Phoenix 15 pts


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Otliensians won a very hard fought victory on Saturday, going someway to erase the earlier season rout, and once again showed the potential that lies within this young team for both the rest of this season and beyond.

The game started with the home side going through phases, not seen for some time, and placing significant pressure on Doncaster, who seemed taken aback by the skill and passion shown within the Otliensians ranks. the pressure was rewarded after 13 minutes when a well constructed line out on the left, lead to driving play in midfield, for Tinknall to be released from 45 metres on one of his trademark barracking 45 metre runs to the posts, for the returning Foster to convert.

Doncaster almost immediately came back in to the game, showing excellent movement in the backs from a quickly taken penalty, swinging the ball from left to right and scoring in the right hand corner to reduce the deficit to 7 - 5 after 18 minutes. The game settled in to a pattern of thrust and counter thrust, both sets of forwards relishing the close exchanges, with the Doncaster backs stretching the well organised Otliensians defence, but after 29 minutes Arbuckle made the line break and from the ensuing penalty Foster extended the lead to 10 - 5.

On the very stroke of half time, Doncaster won their scrum in the middle of the park, took the ball right and scored a well constructed try in the corner to leave the teams level at 10 - 10 going in to the break.

The importance of the second half could not be exaggerated, but it was Doncaster who opened the stronger, using their inventive backs to pressure the home lines once more, the ball went through many pairs of hands, some would say not always legally, but a fine score in the right hand corner after 59 minutes gave Doncaster the 15 - 10 advantage, and the lead for the first time.

Otliensians showed tremendous spirit, with the pack to the fore taking the game to the visitors and it wasn't long before another line out win on 59 minutes by Gray on the left, lead to Doncaster having to hastily kick the ball to clear their lines, the grateful Nick Keinhorst gathered, passed to Tinknall who again showed his strength and speed to brush aside three defenders on his way to the posts. At 15 - 15 the luck and omens for once seemed good for Otliensians, but the conversion in front was missed, it looked like the luck had again gone when Fosters penalty on 66 minutes rebounded off the bar, and his raking kick to the corner on 73 minutes bounced agonisingly one foot the wrong side of the corner flag. but Otliensians were not content with the draw and gave it everything in the last five minutes, attacking in waves until eventually the luck that has eluded them all season, brought the score and two points in the very last play of the game.

Kristian Keinhorst kicked high behind the Doncaster defence from right to left, Nick keinhorst rose and tapped the ball down, regathering on the ground before releasing the supporting Tinknall for his hat trick, the 22 - 15 victory was completed with the Foster conversion, before play was halted by the referee.

A satisfying win, achieved by all 18 players giving their last ounce of energy, right until the very last second.