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Hessle 41pts vs Old Otliensians 1stXV 8 pts


Old Otliensians 3rdXV 12pts vs Yarnbury 39 pts


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With a strong cross-field wind, ‘Ensians faced up to a Yarnbury side which has a well-earned reputation for piling up the points throughout the season. The early exchanges saw the home half backs Peter Gilson and Dave Smith making inroads into the visitors’ territory, with good runs from centres Graham Bentley and Andy Hayward. In the first ten minutes ‘Ensians should have been two tries ahead, but a delayed pass and a knock-on spoiled things. In the scrums, the home side did well with the front row of Dave Beardsley, Ross Myers and Ray Drake having the nudge on their opponents, but in the lineouts, Yarnbury were competing well for every ball.

The stalemate was broken after 15 minutes when ‘Ensians transgressed in their own 22 and the visitors struck a penalty. Three minutes later good support play by the youthful Yarnbury backs produced a try under the posts and the conversion gave them a 10 – 0 lead, even though territorially they had been second best. ‘Ensians came back with strong forward drives from locks Dan Ridgway and Mark Copping, but when the ball was moved wide, indifferent passing spoiled several promising moves. On 30 minutes, the speedy Yarnbury backs broke away and produced a fine try wide out, the excellent conversion gave them a comfortable 17 – 0 lead which they tried to build on leading up to half time.

At the break, Matt Tenniswood came on for injured winger Liam Copping and Andy Bower and Chris Myers replaced Dan Ridgeway and Dave Beardsley. Whereas the home side had problems handling in the strong wind, the visiting backs put together frequent promising moves and one of these produced a good try halfway out on 45 minutes. ‘Ensians then decided to tighten up the game and some good drives by Ray Drake, Alan Garnett and Bower took play up to the Yarnbury line. After several close calls, Andy Bower forced his way over to the right of the posts and the conversion by Matt Tenniswood took the score to 22 – 7 to the visitors.

Any thoughts that this score might produce a turnaround in fortunes were quickly dispelled when the Yarnbury backs capitalised on a handling mistake to score near the posts. With their tails up, the pace of their backs continued to cause problems for the home defence and they ran in two further tries to extend their lead to 39 – 7 after 70 minutes. Although ‘Ensians put some promising back moves together, their handling was scrappy at times and with the Yarnbury defence right in their faces, any breakdown in play was punished by good counter attacking or sensible kicking.

‘Ensians had the last word when their pack put together a series of powerful drives with Steve Lofthouse, Brett Tenniswood and Alan Garnett to the fore. Dave Smith and Graham Bentley got within inches of the line, but it was wily scrum half Peter Gilson who burrowed his way through half way out. The failed conversion took the score to 39 – 12 to the visitors as the final whistle went.

In this entertaining game, the young Yarnbury side lived up to its reputation with a fine display of fast flowing rugby. ‘Ensians competed well, particularly in the forwards, but they had no answer to the all-round pace of the visitors.

Report by John Harrison