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 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 at bay.

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 minutes.

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.
 

 

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