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‘Ensians took on their unbeaten visitors from South Yorkshire with Johnny Ratahi taking over the fly half berth. Making good use of their young speedy backs, the hosts ran in four converted tries in the first 23 minutes and then the power of the visitors’ pack began to tell as they responded with two tries before the break. Against the wind in the second half the home side’s supply of ball all but dried up as the pack tired against bigger opposition. With six minutes remaining Mosborough got within one score to secure victory, but the home defence held and they came out worthy winners at 35 – 29.

With a strong wind at their backs, it took ‘Ensians only three minutes for half backs Ieuan Cranswick and Ratahi to get their back division underway to give winger Declan Jackson space to outpace the cover to go over half way out. Centres Nathan Rogers and Luke Cowdell were posing all sorts of problems for the Mosborough defence and on 10 minutes Cowdell burst through down the middle to score and excellent try. Conversions by full back Will Foster gave the home side a 14 – 0 lead.

The home front row of Greg Jones, Ross Myers and Ben Copley struggled against their heavier opponents, but just managed to hang on to their own ball. At this stage, the back row of Sam Featherstone, Rob Arbuckle and Tom Dyson turned over several balls and the backs made good use of the possession by giving Jackson another opportunity to show his pace down the wing for his second try on 20 minutes. This was followed up by another enterprising back move which saw full back Foster join the line to go over three minutes later. Two conversions by Foster stretched the lead to 28 – 0 on 23 minutes.

The visitors then realised that they could make progress through their pack and they took play into the home 22. A hasty clearance kick was charged down and re-cycled ball produced a try on 37 minutes. With their tails up, Mosborough managed to get their backs moving and a chip ahead eluded the home defence for another try in the corner. Although both conversions failed, the score at the break was a less-comfortable 28 – 10 to the hosts.

Facing a stiff wind, ‘Ensians knew that they would have to pull out all the stops and for the first 15 minutes their non-stop tackling kept Mosborough out. The visitors were now in full command in the scrums, taking several against the head and the pressure told when they scored an unconverted try on 55 minutes. Josh Hebditch came on in the centre allowing Cowdell to move to the wing. Ratahi got a move going in his own half and when the ball reached Cowdell, he rounded his man to run 40 yards for a vital try near the posts. Foster’s conversion gave the hosts a bit more breathing space with the score at 35 – 15 on 58 minutes.

Still scenting victory, Mosborough attacked continuously and centres Rogers and Hebditch were tackling non-stop with good support from flankers Sam Featherstone and Tom Dyson. The visitors breached the tiring defence twice on 68 and 74 minutes and touch-line conversions took the score to 35 – 29.

A nail-biting six minutes then followed with the home side conceding several penalties as they desperately tried to stem the flow and stop the rolling mauls. A final drive by the visitors was bundled into touch and the final whistle went to the relief of the home team and their supporters.

The plucky home pack was seriously outweighed and this took its toll as the game progressed. With little or no possession in the second half, ‘Ensians produced a spirited performance to scrape through with a well-deserved victory.


Otliensians 2nd XV lost away in a “friendly” against Yarnbury 3rds 17 – 15, with tries by Tom Twist and a try and conversion by Lewis Chick.