OORUFC 11 pts vs Hemsworth 0 pts
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After a dismal showing last week, ‘Ensians
completely turned things around with a superb performance to come out on
top against promotion contenders Hemsworth who were second in the League.
With a strong wind at their backs, the hosts set about their opponents
with the pack showing the way. Despite being outweighed in the scrums, the
home forwards through the front row of Toby Barltrop, Ross Myers and Tom
Twist had the nudge on their visitors. In the lineouts locks Steve Wade
and Sam Gray commanded their own ball and pinched several from the
With a good supply of ball, half backs Peter Gillson and Kristian
Keinhorst soon pinned Hemsworth back in their own 22. From a ruck No. 8
Lee O’Donnell was pulled up short, but swift ball across the back a few
minutes later saw young centre Ali Campbell use his pace to beat the cover
to go in at the corner. Although the conversion failed, the home side were
now 5 – 0 up after 15 minutes.
The visitors showed their capabilities on a couple of occasions with good
counter-attacks up the flanks, but solid defence from the back three of
Declan Jackson, Ben Smith and Josh Howarth snuffed out the moves. Dale
Kennedy moved to centre to replace the injured Nathan Rogers and the pack
began to dominate the loose and pressure the visitors’ line. Hemsworth
were now getting frustrated and from a string of offences, some
unpleasant, Keinhorst kicked two excellent penalties on 26 and 35 minutes,
the latter from 40 metres near the touchline, to give the home side a 11 –
0 lead at the break.
With the wind in their favour, the visitors pressured with long kicks, but
as they were struggling in the lineouts, they couldn’t always take
advantage of attacking positions. The home pack were now almost in
complete control with the back row of Sam Featherstone, Lee O’Donnell and
Tom Dyson controlling the breakdowns and props Twist and Barltrop making
ground with some forceful drives.
‘Ensians’ tactics were ideally suited to playing against the wind and
their pick-and-drive game completely starved the visitors of ball and
allowed them to command a substantial territorial advantage. Occasional
long boots downfield were dealt with confidently by full back Ben Smith
and winger Declan Jackson.
Hemsworth were now getting on the wrong side of the referee and when they
lost a player through a red card, the hosts were now in complete control.
For the last 14 minutes, the home side camped in the visitors’ 22. Toby
Barltrop and Sam Gray went over only to be held up and experienced scrum
half Peter Gillson was pulled down inches short. Hemsworth had no answer
and frustration produced a continuous stream of penalties out wide which
gave the home forwards lineout ball to control and drive, leaving the
final score at 11 – 0 to the hosts.
This was a top-drawer performance from ‘Ensians who showed just what they
can do when they buckle down and play as a team. The forwards gradually
got on top in all phases of the game and paved the way for a well-deserved
victory against strong opposition.
Otley 5 pts vs OORUFC 2ndXV 14 pts
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In an entertaining local derby, ‘Ensians 2nd
XV beat Otley Viscounts 14 – 5 with a try from prop Tony Myers and a try
and two conversions from fly half Matt Tennsiwood.