To mark the 50th
Anniversary of their 17 - 3 victory in the Yorkshire Shield, Old Otliensians
held a celebratory dinner on 20th March. Thirteen members of the original
team attended and senior Club volunteers were also invited. The event was
organised by former team members Arthur Bartle and John Churchman.
In his welcoming address, Club President George Leach paid tribute to the
tremendous team achievement of fifty years ago when 'Ensians were very much
a "junior" Club compared with many of those taking part. He also commented
on how pleasing it was that, despite some people moving away, all members of
the Shield team kept in touch with the Club with several still playing an
active part in its day to day running. Mention was also made of the sad loss
of two team members, Noel Fortune and John Cliffe.
In his reply, Captain of the team, Alf Thornton, praised his former
team-mates and referred to the challenging route to the final at Kirkstall.
The quarter final was a close-fought match at home to York RI and the very
physical semi-final played at Skipton against Old Crossleyans saw no less
than three 'Ensians off the field injured for various periods at a time when
there were no substitutes. In the final, tries were scored by Keith
Butterill, Stuart Smith and Peter Swann, with Arthur Bartle converting one
and kicking two penalties.