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AIREBOROUGH 43 - OLD OTLEINSIANS 14

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Due to unavailability and players resting injuries, ‘Ensians took a side containing some 2nd and 3rd XV members to take on their local rivals. On a sunny afternoon with a hard pitch, open rugby looked to be the order of the day and from the off, the home side threw the ball about with confidence. After 5 minutes, a long kick through by the Aireborough fly half caught the visiting defence out of position and produced a try out wide. A good conversion was followed 4 minutes later by a penalty when ‘Ensians infringed, lifting the lead to 10 – 0.

‘Ensians then began to organise themselves and good driving by the front row of Peter Bonner, Ben Newall and Tony Myers took play into the home 22. After a series of pick-and-drives with good work by locks Andy Wood and Mark Copping, Bonner crashed over in the corner on 16 minutes and fly half Kristian Keinhorst added a fine conversion. Both sides were now moving the ball wide and five minutes later ‘Ensians centre Andy Hayward snatched an attempted chip-over from the home centre to round the full back and score under the posts. The conversion by Keinhorst gave the visitors a 14 – 10 lead after 22 minutes.

Play remained fairly even for the next 10 minutes, but with the home backs handling well and at pace, they were always a threat and on 35 minutes their speedy winger rounded the cover to score half way out. The conversion attempt failed, but three minutes later good support play produced another converted try for Aireborough to lift their lead to 22 – 14 at the break.

In the second half, for the visitors, Liam Copping replaced injured centre Sam Gray and Rob Grey came on for lively flanker Dale Kennedy. Although ‘Ensians half backs Peter Gilson and Keinhorst tried to get the ball moving, quick defence and indifferent handling meant that Aireborough were regularly able to mount swift counter-attacks, one of which produced a try on 45 minutes. The conversion took the home side’s lead to 29 – 14 and from then on, the visitors became more and more disorganised against an Aireborough side with their tails up.

With the home back row having the edge in the breakdowns, the visitors had problems putting any meaningful moves together and the opposition capitalised on mistakes to score two more converted tries to lift their lead to 43 – 14 as the final whistle came.

From being very much in the game at half time, ‘Ensians seemed to lose their way in the second half against a very competent all-round display by Aireborough which produced a comfortable victory.

 

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