'Ensians made the trip to Hull knowing that a bonus-point win was needed to keep their promotion hopes alive. On a sunny day with a firm dry surface conditions were ideal for the visitors' fast open game and after a fifteen minute settling-in period, they ran in seven good tries to come away with a well-earned victory.
With a good supply of ball from the scrums where Greg Jones, Ross Myers and Ben Copley managed to hold their own against much heavier opposition, half backs Ieuan Cranswick and Luke Freer spread the ball wide from the off to get their backs in motion. Marist defended well and managed to keep centres Luke Cowdell and Matt Garratt at bay, but on 14 minutes a lively run by Cowdell up the middle saw quick hands put Luke Freer away up the touchline. He cleverly outpaced the cover and went in half way out with Kristian Keinhorst's conversion providing a 7 - 0 lead.
In the lineouts lock Steve Wade and flanker Sam Featherstone commanded their own ball and nicked one or two of the opposition's to boot. The handling by the visiting backs settled down after a period of over-ambition and centre Luke Cowdell forced his way through with an elusive run on 24 minutes. By now 'Ensians were attacking almost continuously putting the Marist defence under tremendous pressure, but wayward passes spoilt one or two chances.
With good inter-passing between forwards and backs in the opposition half, mobile prop Ben Copley crossed wide out to stretch the visitors' lead to 17 - 0 on 34 minutes. At this stage Marist, perhaps sensing that the game was slipping away, resorted to spoiling niggly tactics and, to try and calm things down, the referee awarded a yellow card to each side as half time approached.
After the break the hosts continued with their negative tactics and the referee had to break up several minor skirmishes before a serious word with both captains allowed normal rugby to resume. The 'Ensians backs were again a constant threat and their back row of Lee O'Donnell, Rob Arbuckle and Sam Featherstone were always on hand to tidy up and keep the moves going.
To be fair to Marist, they managed to steady their game and started to defend well against wave after wave of attacks from the visitors. Lock Steve Wade and flanker Lee O'Donnell had some thrusting runs and slick passing in the opposition 22 put full back Kristian Keinhorst into space to cut through. He converted his own try to move the advantage to 24 - 0 on 65 minutes.
Replacements Toby Barltrop and Simon Hill came on in the pack and Michael Philpott took over the wing berth to add extra spice to the attacks. With the heavy Marist pack tiring, it was all 'Ensians now. Skipper Ieuan Cranswick chased a kick through and beat the opposition to the touchdown on 70 minutes and another try followed on 76 minutes with centre Matt Garratt eluding several would-be defenders to score in the corner.
The final word went to winger Josh Howarth who set off on a weaving run from his own half to bamboozle the home defence and touch down under the posts on 79 minutes. Two conversions by Keinhorst lifted the final score to 43 - 0.
Although they allowed themselves to get drawn into periods of scrappy play at times, overall 'Ensians played some good rugby to come away with a comfortable win to keep them in touch with promotion contenders Old Grovians and Harrogate Pythons.
Next week 'Ensians have a tough home encounter with League leaders Grovians and they will be hoping to reproduce their performance which resulted in a fine away win before Christmas.
Old Otliensians 2nds went down 22 - 20 in close-fought Merit game against Keighley 3rds. Scorers for 'Ensians were tries: Ben Smith, Ross Nichols and Alan Garnett. Lewis Chick kicked a penalty and Nick Keinhorst converted one try..