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OLD OTLIENSIANS 7 – BRAMLEY PHOENIX 48

In a postponed game re-arranged for the holiday weekend, ‘Ensians found themselves with a much-changed side due to players being away on holiday. The visitors soon showed why they are outside contenders for promotion and their speedy backs and mobile forwards made the most of errors by the hosts to pull off a comprehensive victory.

Playing with the wind, Bramley opened the ball at every opportunity and ran in three tries in the first 25 minutes to give them 19 – 0 lead. In the scrums, the home front row of Peter Bonner, Ross Myers and Michael Groves did well against a much bigger pack, taking three against the head, and half backs Rob Lofthouse and Matt Tenniswood worked hard to get their back line moving.

Territorially the hosts were now beginning to establish good attacking positions in the Bramley half, but too often a panicky pass or a spilled ball allowed the visitors to use the wind to push play back downfield. Lock Ross Nichols had to leave the field with a nasty cut and he was replaced by Tony Myers. On the stroke of half time, good backing up by the visitors produced a try wide out to take the score to 24 – 0.

After the break, the Leeds side were soon back on the attack producing a well-crafted try on 47 minutes. ‘Ensians responded with their best period of play when the ball moved through centres Matt Taylor and Lee O’Donnell to allow good interplay between scrum half Lofthouse and full back Kristian Keinhorst who then set up winger Josh Howarth for a run-in under the posts for an excellent try. The conversion by Tenniswood moved the score to 31 – 7 to the visitors on 51 minutes.

Alan Garnett replaced flanker Ben Smith and the home pack continued with good driving play by Bonner, No. 8 Andy Bower and lock Alan Harker. Unfortunately, wayward passes and hesitant defence presented the speedy Bramley backs with opportunities and they ran in three more tries on 54, 62 and 68 minutes to lift their advantage to 48 – 7.

Far from giving up, the hosts continued to battle away valiantly for the last ten minutes under skipper Richard Crossley, who was outstanding in defence, but the second score would not come.

Although they were up against a well-organised Bramley side well known for their handling skills, ‘Ensians rounded off the season with a gutsy performance.



 

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