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With the 1st XV cancelling their home friendly with York RI to rest seven players carrying injuries, the 2nd XV were able to include Lee O’Donnell returning from injury, winger Nick Keinhorst and lock Sam Gray. There was a serious setback when two new players failed to turn up, so the match started with ‘Ensians having only fourteen players, Selby having sportingly loaned a bench player. Veteran flanker Richard Crossley took over at scrum half partnering Matt Tenniswood, and outside them were experienced centres Lee O’Donnell and Andy Hayward.

With the solid front row of Tony Myers, Ross Myers and Ben Newall providing good ball from the scrums, the visiting backs were soon on the move and Andy Hayward showed from the off that he had the beating of his opposite number. After several searching runs, Hayward cut through in style to send winger Nick Keinhorst away to touch down half way out. Although the conversion failed, ‘Ensians were 5 points ahead on 8 minutes. Both sides continued to attack, but flanker Toby Baltrop and No. 8 Alan Garnett covered well to snuff out several dangerous attacks. With Selby playing down the slope, pressure built up and the visitors conceded a try wide out on 20 minutes. The excellent conversion put the visitors behind at 7 – 5.

Sam Gray and Alan Garnett were producing quality ball from the lineout and O’Donnell made some threatening runs before a return of a groin injury forced him to move to the wing. With the extra man, the hosts were quick to attack and on 24 minutes, good backing up produced another try half way out to take their lead to 12 – 5. ‘Ensians fought back and Sam Gray and Tony Myers had some powerful runs to set up some good back moves. When Selby moved quick ball from a ruck, winger Nick Keinhorst spotted his chance and intercepted a floated pass to set off on a 40 yard run to the line for his second try. The conversion by Tenniswood levelled the score at 12 apiece as half time approached.

After the break, the heavier home pack began to assert itself, but Tony Myers, Ross Myers and Ben Newall battled hard to keep them in check. With Hayward posing a threat every time he received ball in space, the visiting backs continued to probe and when he sliced through, Richard Crossley was on hand to take the pass and go in near the posts. Tenniswood provided the extras to give ‘Ensians a 19 – 12 advantage on 52 minutes.

With the extra man, Selby were still very much in the game and Tenniswood had to relieve pressure with long raking kicks. The game continued very much end to end and both sides had chances which failed due to either good defence or passes going to ground. As the home backs gained in confidence, they put together a sweeping move to put their winger over in the corner and the failed conversion reduced ‘Ensians’ lead to 19 – 17 on 63 minutes.

With their tails up, Selby now attacked from deep and solid defence from Crossley, Garnett and Baltrop stifled several attacks. When the visitors strayed offside, Selby converted a penalty to take the lead at 20 – 19 on 72 minutes. ‘Ensians were far from finished and Harker and Gray took the game to the hosts with powerful runs. With time running out, a chip ahead by loaned centre Lee Brown saw Nick Keinhorst gather on the full and beat two defenders on a 50 yard run to the line for his hat trick. The conversion narrowly missed, but ‘Ensians were now in front at 24 – 20 and they controlled the game well for the last three minutes to pull off a fine victory.

With a man down throughout and Lee O’Donnell reduced to a passenger for most of the game, this was an excellent result brought about by a mixture of a sound forward effort and some enterprising back play with Andy Hayward and Nick Keinhorst to the fore.


For this home game, veteran Peter Tempest was at scrum half with youngster Robert Lofthouse partnering him at fly half in his first game for the Club. Although the opposition boasted a very heavy front row, it was decided that scrums would be uncontested as one prop was new to the role. Afterwards comments revealed that their ages totalled 152 years, with one prop comfortably in his sixties. For ‘Ensians their front three of Scott Child, Andy Rockett and Ray Drake had a few years between them, but nothing to touch this.

With quick ball coming from the scrums, the home side were soon on the attack and Josh Howarth and Jim McDougall in the centre began posing problems for the visitors’ defence. In the back row, newcomer Mike Moore settled in well with No.8 Matt Taylor and fellow flanker Derek Mott. With both sides looking to move the ball wide, opportunities appeared, but good defence meant chances came to nothing. Eventually on 25 minutes, Howarth jinked his way through to score wide out to give the home side a 5 – 0 lead. Soon afterwards, his centre partner McDougall went over after a strong run and added the extras himself to lift the score to 12 – 0 at the break.

In the second period, Selby came more into the attack through their very experienced and competent fly half. Full back Graham Bentley and wingers Tom Broadbent and Steve Lofthouse had to pull off some try-saving tackles to keep the line clear and in the pack, locks Mark Copping and Ian Robinson toiled to gain the hard yards. On 45 minutes, Bentley linked up well and showed his skills to go over near the posts with McDougall converting to take the score to 19 – 0.

The home back row of Moore, Taylor and Mott worked well together and Taylor was always a threat with his rampaging runs. Selby fought hard to get back into the game for long periods, camping in the ‘Ensians half without managing to breach the defence. Otliensians also played some attractive open rugby, but it was 20 minutes elapsed before replacement Rob Grey went over to add to the score. McDougall again converted to move the score to 26 – 0 on 65 minutes. Eight minutes later, Taylor was rewarded with a fine try after a strong 70 yard run and the home side continued to attack for the closing minutes of the game to record a comfortable 31 – 0 victory.

This was a game played in an excellent spirit with newcomers Robert Lofthouse and Mike Moore acquitting themselves well. With Andy Rockett and Mark Copping to the fore, the whole pack worked hard to produce good ball for their enterprising backs and credit must go to Selby for battling hard right to the end.