OTLIENSIANS returned to winning ways with victory over long-time rivals Baildon at Jenny Lane.
They had the advantage of playing down the slope with the benefit of the breeze in the first half and they soon went ahead. Connor Bateman landed a penalty from 40 metres as Otliensians made a bright start to the game.
They had a try disallowed for a forward pass before suffering two injury setbacks. Centre Luke Cowdell left the field in the 14th minute with a hamstring injury while skipper Nathan Rogers suffered a nasty shoulder injury two minutes later. Otliensians didn't let the setbacks trouble them. Hooker Jim Dyson won a couple of strikes against the head and Ali Campbell secured some good line-out ball which enabled Kristian Keinhorst to peg the home side back. Passing errors prevented Otliensians from turning pressure into points and Baildon began to create pressure of their own.
Good work by Ross Nichols and Lee O'Donnell kept them at bay and turnover ball saw winger Declan Jackson breakaway from deep in his own half to score a try under the posts which Bateman converted. Even better was to follow when Oliver Eaves gave Jackson a great ball 75 metres out and again he raced away to score an unconverted try to establish a 15-0 half-time lead. Baildon made a bright start to the second half as they set about reducing the deficit. Two penalty goals in the first five minutes gave them heart.
Otliensians were being attacked continuously but they held firm and responded with a neat backs move which produced a try for Bateman.
Baildon were in no mood to throw in the towel. They mounted a spell of pressure but were kept at bay with Oliver Eaves producing a couple of fine clearance kicks.
Lee O’Donnell and Rob Arbuckle went close to scoring for Otliensians but the final try of the game went to Baildon.
They camped on the visitors' line and with the last move of the game crashed over for a converted try to gain a losing bonus point..
For this merit table game, ensians & viscounts merged again to get a team out. Rish are usually a good solid team & so that proved to be. It didn’t help that on arriving at rish, the conbined effort was 12, with 10 minutes to kickoff until matty jet2 turned up to make 13.. Unfortunately there were 2 no shows, one from each camp which really lowers the mood in the changing room & drops the usually good moral, when the team just knows, they are really going to be against it. Unfortunately with players dropping out of the first team at very short notice it meant borrowing players was going to be a no go. Best kebab pin up boy, big eddy arrived with a calf that actually looked like a besty kebab special & was told by his mum not to play or he could lose his leg, but the nature of the club man what is big eddy meant he sneaked his kit out & played.
After speaking to rishworthians team manager andy, he lent their 2 spare players to make the teams 15 a side. Mark – a mature second row, who filled in the centre birth [ played it as a junior ] & andy, a backrow player who filled in at eight.
Rish 2nds are a well drilled, big pack with experienced backs who were solid, but with youth in the back line of otley, the game plan was to try find space for the backs to run or chip over for the chase, with the forwards keeping the rish pack as quite as possible. The first 5 minutes was both packs driving at each other, trying to get the ascendancy, with ben Tetley [ a hooker playing in the backrow ] tackling like a demon along with jock & andy [ the lent player ] until rish put their backs to work & their centre cut through unopposed after a misunderstanding left mark [lent player ] flat footed.
Otley came back, but were under constant pressure from the hosts, but when a chance came, Jamie chapel, playing at full back put sean leddy away down the wing to show his pace & good step, & with connor paley taking it on, to work it 30 m up the pitch, but rish got back & snuffed it out. They then came back at otley, sucked in the forwards then spun the ball out for their mature prop to hit the line at pace, float out a great ball to their centre, then back it up so when Jamie chapel put in a great tackle, he was there to recycle the ball & go over to make it 12 – 0.
The forwards were working hard with wheely, boothy, bonner, jimmy & big eddy rucking, mauling & tackling, with alex burnett at scrum half & the back row tidying up. Matty tenniswood was trying to get the backs going with 2 moves up his sleeve, one was mark – the 2nd row come centre to take the crash ball, & two was the miss pass to try get sean leddy into space, with two options, to use his pace & feet to take on the older backs or to chip over & chase as the rish full back looked more like a old prop. How wrong we were !, as when sean put the chip over, duffy the rish fullback raced across the pitch, bent down & picked the ball up [ without breaking stride ] & it was bye bye Vienna as he raced off down the wing until Jamie tackled him into touch. The pressure continued with boothy having to leave the field after a knock, & rish ran in another 2 tries to make it 24 – 0 at half time.
Rish swapped the two players they had lent for another two for the 2nd half. The half time team talk was to keep going, & score even one try for all the hard work done by all. Within 5 minutes, big eddy had to leave the field with his leg getting worse. After a great line out move by rish, the prop took the ball round the front of the line & stepped passed two players to score his hattrick. Sean leddy had to leave the field after going over on his ankle, with rish scoring another two to take their tally to 43 – 0.
Rish never slowed down with their stand off pushing otley back into their half time & time again, but in between this, the troops rallied & showed real fighting spirit with young alex burnet making a great break, with jock doing his best to support him against the fitter rish pack. After pressure from the otley pack, 2nd row jimmy skipped down the wing to score the try deserved, only to be brought back for foot in touch. [ if only he had stilettos on instead of size 13 barges ]. rish ran in another two tries to finish the game 55 – 0, with the full back taking a unstoppable ball between the centres, to put the ball down between the sticks the pick of the bunch.
Even with a game like this against a very good, well drilled team who top the league, you have to look at positives instead of negatives. The lads never gave up despite the onslaught, The tackling was ten times better than the week before, the pack was solid & if we could get together a team who played in their right positions, we would give any team a run for their money. The rishworthian team were x first team players who have dropped down or put their boots on, to help bring on the young lads to give them a chance to show what they can do., just what ensians badly need at this moment..