OLD OTLIENSIANS 18 – MOSBOROUGH 17
‘Ensians struggled for possession throughout this tight contest and it is
to their credit that they managed to pull off a win with so little ball.
The solid Mosborough pack took control in the scrums and the lineouts and
the hosts had to live off scraps of loose ball for the first ten minutes.
Good work by half backs Rob Lofthouse and Kristian Keinhorst managed to
move play into the visitors’ half and the trusty boot of Keinhorst struck
two penalties on 7 and 15 minutes to give ‘Ensians a 6 – 0 advantage. The
home scrum gradually settled, but ball was often untidy and scrum half Rob
Lofthouse had to work hard to get it away. Through shortening the lineout,
‘Ensians started scavenging some ball and the centres Sam Gray and John
Burns made headway in midfield.
The wealth of quality possession allowed Mosborough to mount an almost
continuous series of attacks through their competent backs, but the home
back row of Dale Kennedy, Rob Arbuckle and Sam Featherstone grafted hard
to snuff these out. The back three of Peter Tempest, Ben Smith and Ali
Campbell fielded kicks and covered well to keep the South Yorkshire side
On 31 minutes, pressure told and a missed tackle allowed the visitors to
score half way out to take the score to 6 – 5 as half time approached.
Locks Chris Howells and Toby Barltrop foraged well and the limited amount
of ball which found its way to the home backs showed that they had the
inventiveness to take on their opponents.
At the break, Richard Crossley came on for the injured Kennedy and Andy
Bower replaced Howells at lock. Gaining a bit more possession allowed the
hosts to move the ball decisively and Gray and Burns both made breaks.
After Keinhorst narrowly failed with a penalty, quick ball from a ruck saw
Gray draw two defenders and offload to Burns who cut through in style to
score a fine try. The conversion by Keinhorst stretched the lead to 13 – 5
on 56 minutes.
The visitors continued to use the ample possession to throw everything at
the home side, but the defence was resolute. ‘Ensians’ backs continued to
pose problems and, from a strong run by Burns and good backing up by
Featherstone and Crossley, winger Ali Campbell forced his way over wide
out. There was no conversion, but the hosts now had an 18 – 5 lead on 70
Mosborough were far from finished and both forwards and backs worked well
to move the ball downfield. After battering the home line for several
minutes, they moved the ball wide to finish off in the corner, moving the
score to 18 – 10 to the hosts on 75 minutes. ‘Ensians returned to the
attack, but loose ball was snapped up by the visitors who ran in a
well-worked try under the posts. The conversion took the final score to 18
– 17 in favour of the hosts on the final whistle.
Considering the shortage of ball, this was fine performance by ‘Ensians
who had several regular players missing. They defended valiantly for long
periods and took their limited opportunities when they came.