Bramley Phoenix 42 pts vs OORUFC 1stXV 5 pts
A game of two halves:
After recent weeks of
disappointing losses, Ensians were away at Yorkshire 3 side Bramley. At a
home fixture months ago, Ensians dominated the game but couldn’t take
advantage and lost.
Ensians made several changes with Toby Gillett on the wing, Number 8 Matt
Taylor and Lee O’Donnell at centre. Ensians started the game the brighter
of the two sides and with good decision making kept Bramley pinned within
their own half. However, with ball in hand, players failed to use their
three man overlap, allowing Bramley scrappy possession of which they were
able to break away deep within their own half and score a converted try
totally against the run of play.
Ensians started from the kick off and for the next ten minutes they tried
unsuccessfully to drive through the Bramley defence. Ensians were awarded
many penalties for various infringements and were now winning all scrums
and line outs but were unfortunately unable to capitalise on this. Again
whilst in possession, they lost the ball deep within the Bramley 22. Good
interplay by the experienced Bramley back line almost led to Ensians
conceding yet another try.
However, good defensive work by Johnny R, Lee O’Donnell and Kristian
Keinhorst stopped Bramley from advancing. Ensians were awarded a penalty
within their own 22. However, they were unable to find touch with their
kick and in doing so conceded a very soft try. Bramley 12, Ensians 0.
Ensians continued to dominate the half and again pressed the Bramley line.
Grey, Myers, R Myers, Lyons, Bonner and Heywood all made attempts to cross
the whitewash. The pressure did however take its toll in the end and on
broken play Coultas threw a wide pass to Johnny R who was able to slice
open the Bramley defence to score.
Ensians had three more attempts but were unable to make the final pass,
making the Half-time score Bramley 14, Ensians 5.
With the weather worsening and light diminishing, Ensians turned round
against a strong breeze. Again, they started the half the brighter of the
two sides and whilst on the attack lost possession of which Bramley
capitalised, racing 40 metres to score. Silly errors continued and in good
field positions Ensians lost possession far too easily. This led to
Bramley scoring further tries, all of which were converted. The game ended
Bramley 42, Ensians 5.
Ensians were unfortunate to concede so many points. However, Bramley are
to be congratulated on winning with only 30% of the games possession.
Ensians were far superior in set play but never seemed to capitalise on
Ensians this week have a rearranged home fixture against Northallerton.
OTLEY VISCOUNTS 0 – OLD OTLIENSIANS B
Looking forward to
playing on the Cross Green pitch, ‘Ensians arrived to find that due to
last minute backwords, Otley could only muster 9 players. In typical 3rd
XV tradition, Dave Beardsley, Tom Broadbent and James Seals sportingly
volunteered to play for the opposition and a twelve-a-side game was
organised on the big pitch, perhaps not an enticing situation for many of
With a shortage of front row players, scrums were uncontested from the off
and Otley soon showed that they had power and experience in their pack
when it came to mauling. However, problems arose for them when young
visiting half backs Sam Castledine and Dominic Oddy got their back line
moving. The pace of centres Steve Grundy and Graham Bentley told and slick
passing along the line put winger Steve Lofthouse over in the corner on 5
Although the Viscounts’ bulky pack worked hard at close quarters, their
progress was nullified by excellent tackling from Toby Baltrop, Richard
Paley and Josh Howarth playing in the front row. Behind them, Dale Kennedy
and Dave Smith flattened anyone who came round the side and, with help
from No. 8 Alan Garnett, they managed to turn over ball at regular
The supply of quick ball from the half backs meant that the visiting backs
had acres of room to work in and experienced centre Graham Bentley and his
speedy partner Steve Grundy combined well together to produce four
excellent tries for Grundy before the break. With two conversion from Sam
Castledine, the score at half time was 29 – 0 to the visitors.
After the interval, Otley used their power and weight to battle upfield,
but turnover ball was quickly re-cycled and Bentley cut through the middle
to go over from 50 yards, with Castledine converting. Jamie Chapple’s men
then began to put some organised phases of play together and ‘Ensians
found themselves defending. Full back Sean Flesher covered well and
tackled soundly with strong support from Steve Lofthouse.
Despite progressing to within 10 yards of the line, Otley could not breach
the ‘Ensians defence and once more turnover ball sent the visiting backs
racing down the field. Good handling by Oddy, Smith, Howarth and Kennedy
put full back Flesher away down the wing to go over in the corner on 50
minutes. Three minutes later quick hands by Howarth, Paley and Oddy sent
skipper Alan Garnett galloping down the middle to score a well-worked try
under the posts.
Viscounts were far from finished and their best chance came on 58 minutes
when they drove upfield to the visitors’ line and brought their half-backs
into action. Instead of choosing the wider option, they came back inside
where Dave Smith and Dale Kennedy were waiting to snuff out the move. From
the turnover, again, Oddy, Bentley and Grundy found themselves in space
and, in a length-of-the-field move, Grundy went over for his fifth. As the
final whistle approached, good interplay between forwards and backs saw
Lofthouse pass inside to Garnett for the final try. Three more conversions
by Castledine lifted the final score to 62 – 0 to the visitors.
As usual with these encounters, the game was played in an excellent spirit
under the stewardship of referee Derek Smith and all credit must go to
Viscounts for battling away until the end. ‘Ensians were fortunate in
having a side containing a number of “old hands” and some very quick
youngsters who played fast basic rugby. This combination and the overall
pace of the visitors proved too much for Otley.