Northallerton 17 - OORUFC 8
OORUFC 2ndXV 40 pts vs Cleckheaton 3rdXV 19
For their first Yorkshire 3 Merit Table game
of the season, ‘Ensians took the field in warm sunshine and a stiff breeze
facing up to opponents with a big pack. They welcomed back former 1st XV
hooker James Kear, who had been working away for two years, and he formed a
formidable front row alongside Dave Beardsley and skipper Chris Myers.
Against the wind, the early exchanges favoured the home side with half backs
Ben Newall and Matt Tenniswood distributing the ball well, allowing centres
Andy Hayward and Dominic Oddy to make inroads into the visitors’ territory.
As Cleckheaton settled down it was clear they had one or two lively backs
and the pack put together some telling rolling mauls.
The home side let one or two chances slip through untidy handling, but, on
21 minutes, a loose ball was snapped up in midfield by the Cleckheaton
centre and good backing up produced a try under the posts which was
converted. ‘Ensians came back strongly and with a steady supply of ball
through Alan Garnett in the lineout, they were soon back in attack. After
good work by flankers Mark Fox and Steve Lofthouse, lively lock Andy Wood
made good ground up the short side and slipped the ball to winger Darren
Cooley who went over in the corner. Although the conversion failed, ‘Ensians
now had their tails up and when Andy Hayward cut back inside and raced up
the middle, Cooley was on hand again to score under the posts. The
conversion by Tenniswood took the score to 12 – 7..
Cleckheaton were still very much in the game and occasional periods of
attack posed threats, but the back three of Liam Copping, Sean Flesher and
Cooley were up to the task. For ‘Ensians, centre Hayward was now becoming a
real menace and he sliced through to set up Ben Newall under the posts to
lift the lead to 19 – 7 as half time approached. Richard Paley replaced
Lofthouse after the break, but the home defence was caught napping as the
visitors swiftly moved the ball along the backs to put their winger over in
the corner. After a powerful drive by locks Wood and Scott Child, it was
Hayward once more who burst through to offload to Tenniswood near the posts.
Three minutes later, good handling between Fox, Oddy and Tenniswood allowed
young winger Liam Copping to score half way out. With two good conversions
by Tenniswood, the score was now a more comfortable 33 – 12 after 49
As Ray Drake replaced veteran prop Dave Beardsley, the home side continued
to dominate and there was some excellent interplay between forwards and
backs to put Cooley away for his hat-trick. With the score at 40 – 12,
Cleckheaton finally started to put some threatening moves together to score
a good converted try which took the score to 40 – 19 on 69 minutes. Darryl
Hamilton came on to replace the injured Hayward and produced some strong
runs in support of Oddy and Tenniswood. Both sides continued to play
attacking rugby for the last ten minutes, but, overall, the enterprising
display by ‘Ensians saw them through to an entertaining and well-earned
FOOTNOTE – GEOFFREY STORR
Players and spectators paid a silent tribute on Saturday as a mark of
respect for Club stalwart Geoff Storr who passed away on the 5th September.
Geoff, a former partner in the local firm of accountants Hollings Crowe
Storr & Co. had been associated with ‘Ensians firstly as a player and then
as a dedicated volunteer over the past sixty years. Although suffering from
ill-health for the past two years, he was still a regular at the Club and he
will be sadly missed by all Club members as well as by the wider community.