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 Hessle 20 - Old Otliensians14

The news that a front row player was unavailable due to an eye injury just as the team was about to set off for Hull and the inability of other front row players to travel at the last minute resulted in ‘Ensians being unable to fulfil the League stipulation for the number of front row players. Hessle sportingly loaned a front row player from their cancelled 2nd XV and a fully competitive game ensued.

Hessle won the toss and elected to play up the slope in the first half. The signs looked ominous for Old Otliensians after only three minutes. A number of missed tackles led to the home side opening the scoring with a try midway between the posts and the touch line. The conversion was narrowly missed leaving the home side 5-0 up.

This score appeared to galvanise the away team and despite relentless attacksfrom Hessle, strong tackling from the veterans Peter Tempest and Richard Crossley and the youngster Sam Featherstone ensured the score remained at 5-0. As the first half progressed ‘Ensians began to get a foothold in the game and on 20 minutes they were awarded a scrum on the Hessle 10-yard line. From the scrum, No8 Andy Bower picked up and chipped the ball in to the Hessle 22. Stand-off half Matty Tenniswood reacted quickest and dribbled the ball over the try line to beat the home defence to the touchdown. Tenniswood added the conversion to give the visitors a 7-5 lead.

The lead only lasted four minutes. Old Otliensians were caught infringing at the breakdown and from the subsequent penalty the Hessle scrum-half slotted the kick to give the home team a 8-7 lead. This lead was maintained until the break. Playing up the slope Old Otliensians knew they would have to start well if they were going to get anything from this match.

However, on 45 minutes an unfortunate accident saw scum-half Richard Crossley collide with one of his own players. This left the scrum-half with a nasty head injury and he had to leave the field with Steve Lofthouse coming on as replacement. Despite this set-back, Old Otliensians continued to resolutely defend their line. On the hour mark the away team broke out of their own 22, re-cycled the ball quickly and moved the ball wide. Player-coach Carlos Hassan provided a long cut-out pass to find full-back Kristian Keinhorst with some space. The full-back beat a defender and then found debutant winger Josh Butterill just outside the Hessle 22. The youngster turned on the gas to out-strip the cover defence and finish a great move. Tenniswood added the conversion to give the visitors a 14-8 lead.

Hessle cranked up the pressure and on 72 minutes their forwards drove over from a 5-metre line-out. The conversion was missed leaving the visitors with a narrow 14-13 lead. As the game went in to injury time it looked as though Old Otliensians would gain an unlikely victory. However, with one of the last plays of the game the Hessle forwards secured the ball which was moved swiftly across their backs for the right-wing to beat the cover defence and run round behind the posts for the winning try. The conversion made the final score 20-14.

Old Otliensians can take a great deal of pride from this performance. With a mixture of youngsters and veterans in the team, every player made a significant contribution to making this a hard-fought game.

The downside for ‘Ensians was that because they borrowed a front row player, the rules dictate that the result is deemed to be a 0 -0 win to Hessle and they were therefore unable to claim the bonus point.