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On top of their long journey to Mosborough on the Derbyshire border, ‘Ensians were faced with a spate of last-minute changes which meant six people playing out of position. The combination of these factors had an unsettling effect on the team which resulted in a disappointing display against a side they had narrowly defeated in the home encounter in the autumn.

The old adage of “not getting off the bus” very much applied to the first half with the visitors conceding three tries in the first 20 minutes due to poor organisation in defence and some indifferent tackling. Debutant half backs Ali Campbell and Luke Freer worked hard to deal with scrappy possession, but slow ball made life difficult for centres Lee O’Donnell and Dale Kennedy.

Towards the end of the first half, ‘Ensians were showing signs of settling and good foraging by the back row of Tom Dyson, Rob Arbuckle and Sam Featherstone kept the opposition at bay until the 39th minute when they scored a converted try to stretch their lead to a formidable 24 – 0.

After the break, the visitors came more into the game and wingers Jim Dyson and Dan Ball had enterprising runs with good support from full back Declan Jackson. ‘Ensians struggled to get any clean ball in the lineouts, but in the scrums the front row of Peter Bonner, Ross Myers and Toby Barltrop managed to hold their own. The visitors’ backs produced several scoring opportunities, but on at least two occasions clear-cut tries went begging through players hanging on too long or producing a poor final pass.

The visitors managed to restrict Mosborough to a single penalty in the second half with flankers Tom Dyson and Sam Featherstone tackling fearlessly throughout with strong support from lock Steve Wade. With the final score at 27 – 0 to the hosts, this was a performance which Otliensians will want to put behind them.



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‘Ensians went into this Merit League clash in second place to face leaders Bradford & Bingley 3rd XV knowing they had to pull out all the stops. The match started very evenly with both sides feeling their way. A good passage of play by ‘Ensians resulted in lock Ross Nichols reaching out to touch down under the posts, the conversion giving the hosts a 7 – 0 lead on 10 minutes. On 15 minutes centre Steve Grundy cut through in style to extend the lead to 14 – 0.

The hosts were now in full cry and good inter-passing from their own 22 saw flanker Richard Crossley go over, but Bees responded at once to make the score 19 – 5 at the break. In the second half the visitors were much more in the game scoring two tries to a further one from ‘Ensians’ skipper Alan Garnett. A final penalty from Grundy took the final score to 27 – 17 to ‘Ensians and lifted them to top place in their Merit League.