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Old Otliensians 1stXV 43 pts vs Leeds Corinthians 5 pts


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Despite the heavy frost, ‘Ensians’ well-grassed pitch was always likely to be playable and on a cold sunny afternoon, the home side with seven tries pulled off their biggest win of the season after a shaky start. Despite their lowly league position, the visitors competed well from the off and were unlucky to hit the posts with a penalty after ten minutes. The hosts had a good share of the ball with locks Sam Gray and Steve Wade doing well in the lineouts and flankers Tom Dyson and Dale Kennedy turning over several balls in the loose.

Half backs Ieuan Cranswick and Kristian Keinhorst managed to get their backs moving, but too often laboured passing or hanging on too long brought moves to a halt and, with Corinthians being fairly solid in the scrums, they were able to mount several attacks through their useful backs. After a good break out wide by home winger Michael Philpott, Rob Arbuckle went over, but the move came to nothing due to a foot in touch. However, as play remained evenly balanced the lively ‘Ensians pack produced good ruck ball for Sam Gray to link up and take the offload to score halfway out, the conversion by Keinhorst gave the home side a 7 – 0 advantage at half time.

After the break, the hosts began to settle and good play by centres Nathan Rogers and Lee O’Donnell took play into the visitors’ 22. After several close calls, fly half Kristian Keinhorst stepped his way past two defenders to score under the posts and his conversion stretched the lead to 14 – 0 on 50 minutes.

The Leeds side were far from finished and they pushed deep into the ‘Ensians’ half where a careless pass was intercepted to allow their centre to canter in for an unconverted try, narrowing the margin the 14 – 5 on 55 minutes. Replacement home full back Declan Jackson linked up and made a spectacular 70 yard run up to the Corinthians’ line, but his glory was spoiled by a last-ditch tackle.

By now, the home side were putting together some good phases of rugby and their front row of Tom Twist, Rob Lyon and Ross Myers began to dominate the scrums. Winger Josh Howarth rounded his man and ran in from 50 yards followed by another try from flanker Dale Kennedy to take the score to 24 – 5 on 70 minutes. As the home side’s fitness advantage began to tell, prop Toby Barltrop and lively lock Steve Wade went over and two conversions by Keinhorst moved the score to 38 – 5 to the hosts.

The scoring was rounded off with a glorious try by No.8 Rob Arbuckle who fended off two would-be tackles to gallop in from fifty yards to make the final score 43 – 5 to the home side. Credit must go to Corinthians who competed valiantly for 60 minutes, but then fell away as ‘Ensians’ superior pace and fitness took their toll.

‘Ensians 2nd XV pulled off a 27 – 7 Merit away win against neighbours Aireborough.