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Ensians run out of steam
Aireborough 50, Old Otliensians 5

Ensians completed their Yorkshire 3 league fixtures after an away fixture with derby hosts Aireborough. Due to poor weather over the Christmas period, many teams have been cramming games in over recent weeks and for Ensians this meant 8 games in a 3 week period.

Ensians welcomed back Tom Woods for his second game of the season after a long lay-off due to injury, Andy Heywood into the centres; Lee Copping for his third appearance of the season, Andy Myers was available after work commitments in recent weeks, Alan Harker and Dale Kennedy in their third appearances of the season, Alan Garnett, 2nd team captain starting his first 1st team game of the season and finally James Duggan returning after 10 weeks recovering from a broken thumb.

Ensians had won the previous fixture by a large margin but with so many changes and a pending semi-final Silver Trophy fixture, the gameplan was to give many potential first team players an opportunity to build for the coming season. The game started with Aireborough pouncing on possession. There was some very good defending from Heywood, Clewes and Kennedy, which helped to thwart Aireborough’s advancing backline. A scrappy half continued with neither side able to take superior advantage. However, Aireborough were able to hold most of the play within the Ensians half.

On 25 minutes, fine individual play by Aireborough’s Arundell allowed him to outpace Ensians defenders and to sprint 40 metres to score in the corner. Ensians responded quickly and good interpassing from Clewes, Coultas and Duggan allowed Heywood to burst through and beat the defence to score. Aireborough 7, Old Otliensians 5.

Ensians spent the next ten minutes deep within their own half. A failed clearance kick allowed Aireborough possession of which they moved the ball speedily along their line and scored again in the corner. Half-time Score: Aireborough 14, Old Otliensians 5.

Ensians suffering the effects of the heat and a weakened team made three changes. Tom Woods came on for Grey who was suffering from a shoulder injury. Alan Garnett replaced Chris Howells and Hugh Gumbs took up the unfamiliar role of prop for Ben Newall.

Ensians were able to hold out for a further ten minutes but their familiar co-ordinated defence slowly started to weaken allowing Aireborough’s speedy backs the space and time on the outside. Further tries were conceded, Aireborough now scoring at will with little response from the visitors.

Final Score: Aireborough 50, Old Otliensians 5

The second half of this game was one to forget for Ensians who are focused on their semi final Silver Trophy fixture against Old Rishworthians on 29th April at Chaffers Field. A further nine regular first team players will be in contention for this fixture.