Mosborough on the Derbyshire border has never been a happy-hunting ground for 'Ensians and this proved to be the case when, with three regular members of their pack unavailable, they went down in the mud to a fired-up Mosborough side keen to avenge defeats in the first half of the season. After an early try from the hosts, 'Ensians settled down and got stuck in and, trailing by only 7 points at the break, the chances of turning things around looked good. However, the inability to control the heavy Mosborough pack on a greasy treacherous surface and the failure of the speedy 'Ensians back division to click meant that they succumbed to two further tries. Although the visitors responded with two good tries of their own, it was not enough on a day when the home pack was dominant in all phases.
From the start the home forwards used the slope to drive play into the home 22 and there was desperate defence for 7 minutes before good support play produced a converted try. 'Ensians had big problems in the scrums on a muddy surface against a much bigger pack where it was impossible to get a decent foothold. The visiting front row of Ross Myers, Sam Emmitt and Toby Barltrop were in difficulties and although Emmitt hooked the ball on several occasions, the Mosborough pack re-gained possession by driving over it. The result was that 'Ensians were starved of possession for long periods, but good defence from fly half Johnny Ratahi and centres Tobias Gill and Nathan Rogers regularly snuffed out dangerous looking moves.
In terms of attack, the visitors had limited opportunities, but winger Josh Howarth had two good runs and centre Nathan Rogers troubled the home defence with some jinking bursts. In the lineouts Mosborough were also dominant and although 'Ensians lock Steve Wade secured most of his own throw-ins, lax refereeing allowed the opposing forwards to jump the gun and harass scrum half Matt Garratt almost before he received the ball. The visitors' cause was not helped when on the stroke of half time they had a player yellow-carded for rushing in to assist a team-mate who had been late-tackled.
With the hosts' restricted to 7 - 0 at half time and the slope in their favour, the prospects of 'Ensians overtaking this lead looked promising, even with a man short for the first ten minutes. However, Mosborough also realised this and tore into the visitors from the kick off to set up a series of rolling mauls. The visiting half backs Garratt and Ratahi tried to get their backs moving, but laboured handling and wrong options handed possession back to the home side who pinned the visitors back on their own line. A scrum was awarded and the home pack trundled over half way out to touch down, the conversion giving them a 14 - 0 lead on 47 minutes.
Ieuan Cranswick came on at scrum half and, with the 'Ensians scrum faring much better, the 'Ensians backs started making headway. When play broke down the back row of Sam Featherstone, Rob Arbuckle and Dale Kennedy were there to tidy up and launch a fresh attack. From a ruck the ball was moved wide to the right and quick hands from centre Gill and full back Keinhorst put replacement winger Declan Jackson over in the corner. The conversion failed, but 'Ensians were now very much back in the game training 14 - 5 on 60 minutes.
The hosts, sensing that things might be slipping away threw everything into attack through their big forwards and drove play into the visitors' 22. Full back Kristian Keinhorst pulled off a try-saving tackle in the corner, but after a series of drives from the subsequent lineout, a home flanker dived over to score near the posts with the conversion stretching the lead to 21 - 5 on 66 minutes.
'Ensians were far from finished and launched a series of attacks, but the usual fluency was missing in the back division and this, coupled with in-your-face defence from the home side, meant that chances were few. Eventually slick passing along the 'Ensians back line put winger Jackson into space to score his second try in the corner to move the score to 21 - 10 on 76 minutes which remained as the final score.
'Ensians encountered problems with the Mosborough pack at home earlier in the season, but on a muddy surface against a big experienced pack with vocal home support, they were always going to be up against it. On top of this, their backs did not combine well to make full use of limited possession. With both Harrogate Pythons and Old Grovians having bonus-point wins, 'Ensians slip to third in the League table.
Ensians 2nd XV beat Ilkley 3rds in a friendly 36 - 7. Scorers: Tries - Sean Flesher, Ali Campbell, Andy Bower 2 and Will Haines with 4 conversions and a penalty from Rob Lyon.