The conditions under foot were not good as Ensians took to the field to play league leaders Wetherby away, who were looking to get their 50th victory in a row and keep their unbeaten streak going.
Right from the outset it was clear it was going to be a tough game for the visitors. On three minutes the powerful Wetherby backs made a good break which was finished out wide after a strong run in from their winger. The try was converted for an early 7-0 lead.
Ensians were looking dangerous with ball in hand with winger Luke Cowdell giving his opposite number a hard time. The Wetherby forwards outweighed the Ensians 8 by a decent amount so the visitors scrum ball was untidy but the line out was working well.
Play was back and forth with both teams making good breaks but not able to finish them off. On ten minutes Ensians were penalised and Wetherby converted to increase their lead to 10-0.
Ensians went on the attack with good carries from Back Rows Sam Featherstone and Nathan Rogers and Lock Lee O'Donnell in the forwards and wingers Luke Cowdell and Josh Howarth in the backs. The Wetherby defence was strong and Ensians struggled to convert the pressure into points.
Wetherby turned the ball over and caught the visitors defence unawares. The ball was shipped wide and their Outside Center ran a great line to score again on 16 minutes. Again it was converted and the lead stretched to 17-0.
Wetherby were attacking hard from all over the field and Ensians were having to defend their hearts out. Rogers, Featherstone and Blind Side Flanker Zak Stead were making tackles all over the field. Lock Ali Campbell and Prop Greg Jones were doing some great work in the breakdown disrupting the Wetherby ball and winning turnovers.
The Wetherby back line was attacking hard running great lines. Stand Off Kris Keinhorst, alongside centers Oli Eaves and Will Prest and Fullback Will Cooper were having to work hard to keep them at bay. On 32 minutes the Ensians defence was breached again with another converted try and the Home lead was increased to 29-0.
Again Ensians were having to defend hard from a persistent Wetherby attack. The visitors gave away a string of penalties and suffered the consequence with a yellow card on 35 minutes. Wetherby tried running the ball but the visitors defence was good. Another penalty was conceded and the Home side decided to Scrum, having a numerical advantage to go with their already considerable size advantage. This worked and they scored a pushover try. The conversion was missed and the lead increased to 29-0 on 38 minutes.
Ensians turned round with a lot of work to do. They started the second half brightly, even with 14 men were able to stretch the Wetherby defence. Once the numbers were evened out, Ensians made it count. A break initially by Cowdell and carried on by Howarth was enough to stretch the home defence and Full Back Cooper showed good footwork and great strength to leave the home defence flapping as he went in to score. Unfortunately the conversion was missed and the score moved to 29-5.
Ensians were coming more into the game as the less mobile home pack were running out of steam. However an untimely handling error gave them a scrum near the ensians line. Again their forwards used their bulk to push over. This time the try was converted and the lead was increased to 36-5 on 55 minutes.
The rest of the half mainly belonged to Ensians. Scrum Half Rob Lofthouse was moving the ball well as well as sniping round the breakdown, making a great break down field, unfortunately not having the legs to finish it off.
There was some very cynical play at the breakdown from the home side, slowing the Ensians ball down every time they broke the defence down. Somehow avoiding a yellow card.
On 70 minutes, Stand Off Keinhorst showed great vision and skill to put a perfect cross field kick straight into the hands of Cowdell who scored outwide. Again the conversion was missed and the score moved to 36-10.
Ensians were on the attack for the rest of the half. On 73 minutes Wetherby were finally yellow carded for their breakdown infringement. However they stepped up their defence to keep the visitors out. The game finished at 36-10.
All credit to Wetherby who deserved the win and their league position. Also to the Ensians lads who easily could have given up but worked extremely hard pushing Wetherby hard throughout the game.
With the usual suspects dropping out of the 1st team, coach john had to borrow a couple of players off
tempo which meant a bit of re - arranging again, but with x player daz cooley & his mate Richard looking
for a game, things looked positive. Chris booth turned up as well, telling tempo, he had been tied up
with viscounts or sarecens, so tempo wasn’t sure whether hed been playing rugby or bare arce boxing
on gay fest weekends away ! ! . pete bonner played his first game since breaking a sweat in the old
crosslians game, & ben smith turned out, still operating his [ i would of passed but blah ! blah ! blah ! ]
policy. The starting line up was - boothy, Richard & bonner in the front row. Captain sensible – brett t &
dean bailey in the second row, with the ginger flash – dave smith at 7, the blond flash – will bowie at 6,
& the balding flush – ben smith at 8. Alex longstaff dropped in at 9 with pop star jonny rah at 10. Daz
cooley & joe tindal played 12 & 13, with james burgess & Jamie kenworthy on the wings. Conner paley
put the 15 shirt on again, after having a good game the week before. With viscounts not having a game,
tempo had a full bench with two other viscounts – ross nicols & matty tenniswood, with mark elam &
lukeasz. Twentieth man was new look, little eddy who had been sacked as best kebabs pin up for
promoting healthy food, but had picked up more local work as the face of otley allotment holder
magazine, where he runs a column on how to make turnips more tasty ! from ensians point of view, the
game was a frustrating one, with vandals a very solid team, who didn’t do anything flash, but defended
very well, & turned over the ball for fun at the breakdowns. The game started with conner paley making
a good break, but vandals held out. Ensians were getting plenty of ball & jonny rah was getting his back
line going, with daz & joe running some good lines, & on one occasion conner joined to put Jamie away,
but a solid tackle from the vandals full back, showed they weren’t going to take any prisoners. After
about 10 minutes, boothy had to leave the field with a parambulation of the lungs [ means – run out of
steam ! ] so ross nicols came on to prop for him. Ensians had the upper hand in the scrums, but vandals
were managing to get there ball away. The line outs started well, with dean & bret taking all their own,
until ensians secret unbreakable line out code was, erm broken ! , so vandals started to pinch a few or
disrupt to cause problems. Joe tindal put conner away again but he cut inside & got tackled instead of
giving james burgess an easy run in. On 25 minutes jonny rah hit will bowie on a great angled run to go
in under the posts, but will must of put his mothers stilettos on to take the kick as somehow missed it to
make it 5 – 0 at which it stayed till half time. The second half saw a bit of a swap round to get the subs
on, with will bowie moving to centre, mark elam taking up jamies wing, dean bailey going into the back
row with bret, to get little eddy & matty t into the second row. While they were settling in, vandals
impressive 7 scored to make it 5 – 7. Ensians came straight back with some good drives from matty &
eddy & will was their again to squeeze in at the corner, but with the corner flag been taken out [ by a
vandals player ] it was a hard one to give, so it stayed at 5 - 7. The dominant scrum reaped rewards, &
after driving vandals over the line, a penalty try was given for some vandals naughtiness !. matty t
converted to make it 12 – 7 on 55 minutes. Vandals were throwing everything at ensians, to get back in
the game, but ensians defence was impressive to keep them out. Vandals were on ensians line, & with
pete bonner playing the old,old rules where, if the scrum half even looked like he was going to pick the
ball up, - flatten him, ensians were lucky they didn’t score, & he didn’t get 10 minutes [ to read the new
rule book ] . vandals were taking chances to get a try, & a spilled ball was scooped up by james burgess
to sprint away & score on 80 minutes to seal the win with matty converting to make it 19 – 7. Another
good win, with some good rugby played, & great defensive effort at times by all.