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OORUFC 1stXV 13 pts Thornensians 19 pts

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OORUFC 3rdXV 6 pts vs Otley 3 pts

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With both side struggling to raise sides, the game against local rivals started with uncontested scrums. The powerful ‘Ensians  pack had the edge in the early stages with Lee Paley, Andy Rockett, Mark Copping  and Richard Dorian putting together some powerful drives. In the loose, the back row of Dominic Birkin, brother James and Derek Mott worked hard to stifle promising moves by the lively Otley backs with a very fast centre. With both sides attempting to move the ball wide, play moved from end to end and for the home side, centres Peter Tempest and Josh Howarth worked well together to gain ground.  

Although both sides had chances, strong defences managed to rule the day and at half time, the score was 0 – 0. In the second period, the home pack once again began to dominate with lock Mark Copping setting an example with his hard work and enthusiasm. At half back Aiden Carr got the ball away swiftly and fly half Dave Smith had a faultless display in attack and defence. In one of many visits to the Viscounts’ half, the visitors transgressed and Carr converted a fine penalty to give the home side a slender 3 – 0 lead on 53 minutes. 

Otley were undaunted and their backs made life very uncomfortable with full back Graham Bentley and wingers Tom Broadbent and Steve Lofthouse pulling off some vital try-saving tackles. Otley were rewarded for a long period of pressure when Charley Davey dropped an excellent goal to level the scores at 3 all on 64 minutes. The game threw up scoring opportunities for both sides, but ferocious tackling, with young home flanker Dominic Birkin leading the way, kept the scores level.  ‘Ensians continued to have the edge in the pack but Viscounts certainly posed many threats through clever use of their speedy back division.  

On 71 minutes, the stalemate was broken when Aiden Carr punished an infringement with his second penalty to give the hosts a 6 – 3 lead. Otley threw everything into attack in the closing minutes and they were camped on the ‘Ensians line for long periods, but committed defence managed to hold out to give the home side the slenderest of victories at 6 points to 3. 

As usual in the encounters with Viscounts, the game was played in a tremendous spirit and the result could have gone either way. Credit must go to both sides for producing a very entertaining and enjoyable game to liven up a damp and grey afternoon.


‘Ensians made the trip to Thorne with a much depleted team and, with the back division playing together for the first time, they knew they were up against it on a big pitch against a side with a mixture of old heads and speedy youngsters. The first few minutes showed that Thornensians had a very lively scrum half and he wasted no time in getting his backs moving. From good interplay between forwards and backs, the hosts slipped the ball to their powerful winger who scored halfway out on 7 minutes to give them a 5 – 0 lead.

The visitors were gradually settling down and the front row of Scott Child, James Kear and Dave Beardsley provided a very solid platform against sizeable opposition. Half back brothers Brett and Matt Tenniswood were able to get their centres moving and newcomer Steve Grundy made a telling break only to see the final pass go to ground. From a ruck 30 yards out, the Thorne livewire scrum half darted through a gap and scored under the posts with the extras giving the home side a 12 – 0 lead on 17 minutes.

‘Ensians came back with a vengeance and good interplay between skipper Ben Smith, winger James Cooley and No.8 Alan Garnett saw a difficult pass knocked on with the line beckoning. From pressure on the Thorne line two minutes later, lock Andy Wood drove near, but the defence held. Still very much in the game, a chip ahead by the visitors was fielded by Thorne and moved wide swiftly to put their fast centre over near the posts against the run of play. This took the score to 19 – 0 to the home side on 35 minutes and miss-tackles let in another try to lift the score to 26 – 0 on half time.

The visitors were undaunted and took the game to Thornensians from the re-start. The back row of Toby Baltrop, Alan Garnett and Ben Smith managed to turn balls over, but ‘Ensians back division found the home defence was up to the task and progress was difficult. The home half backs were now beginning to threaten regularly and, with young fast players outside them, full back Sean Flesher had to make several try-saving tackles. Despite this, Thorne ran in two further tries in six minutes to extend their lead to 40 – 0 on 62 minutes. In the lineout Alan Garnett and Alan Harker worked hard, but Brett Tenniswood often had untidy ball to deal with as the opposition back row harassed him.

With the visitors tiring, the Thorne backs used space to put together some clever moves with their big forwards joining in. Two more unconverted tries came on 72 and 74 minutes and then Ben Smith had to go off with a shoulder injury. Still battling gallantly, ‘Ensians continued to attack with their limited possession and Matt Tenniswood gained ground with long searching kicks. On 77 minutes, weary limbs allowed in the final try to take the score to 62 – 0.

With a much-changed side, the visitors were always up against it with a fast and powerful Thornensians outfit who were prepared to spread the ball and make good use of their young talented backs. However, credit must go to ‘Ensians for sticking to the task when the chips were down and competing courageously right to the end.