Three former 1st XV skippers lined up in 'Ensians 3rd XV home encounter against an experienced Wharfedale 4th XV in the form of forwards Richard Smith, and Andy Rockett along with fly half Dave Smith. They helped the hosts dominate territory and possession in the first half, but despite several close calls, the points did not come, allowing the visitors to claim a 3 - 0 lead at the break through a penalty. Wharfedale scored a converted try at the start of the second half and although the home side competed well throughout, all they could manage was an unconverted try from prop Craig Mawson to make the final score 10 - 5 to Wharfedale.
On another warm mainly sunny afternoon with a gentle breeze and perfect conditions 'Ensians A travelled to Baildon for their Aire/Wharfe Merit League Match.
'Ensians played the first half up the slope and were quickly on the attack with the forwards giving their speedy backs good running opportunities .Declan Jackson came near to scoring in the corner but after 15 minutes after the ball passed through several hands Ben Hatton scored an unconverted try wide out followed by another by Declan Jackson after 20 minutes to make the score 0-10 to the visitors. A penalty goal by Ben Hatton increased the lead to 0-13 after 25 minutes.
It was all 'Ensians and, despite the slope, most of the play took place in the Baildon half. The half backs Rob Lofthouse and Lewis Chick were combining well to give great opportunities to centres John Ratahi and Callum Doherty to open out to the wingers. This resulted in two further tries being scored before half time by Declan Jackson both converted by Ben Hatton to give a score of 0-27 to 'Ensians.
Also prominent in the first half were strong runs from forwards Ross Nichols, Captain Ben Smith, Jim Dyson and Lee O'Donnell making valuable yardage and sucking in the Baildon defence to give more space for the backs.
The second half opened with a sublime move resulting in an unconverted try by Luke Cowdell.However for the next 30 minutes Baildon fought back strongly. Despite being pushed back in the scrums and Brett Tenniswood gaining good lineout ball Baildon attacked resolutely and after coming close on numerous occasions scored an unconverted try on 55 minutes. They continued to put pressure on 'Ensians but good defence kept them out.
In the last 10 minutes 'Ensians' fitness told and their front row of Peter Bonner, Ross Myers and Tony Myers gave the Baildon front row a torrid time moving their pack yards backwards at every scrum. This culminated in a fine try by Callum Doherty who broke through the Baildon defence and raced to the line for Ben Hatton to add the extras
Baildon is never an easy venue to gain a victory but the final score of 5-39 in favour of 'Ensians was well deserved.