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Niz's mid year review 2007/2008

Under the guidance of Coach Gary Walker, Otliensians have had a good start to the season , improving on last years performances at all levels and importantly attracting new players.

The 1st XV are currently in second place in Yorkshire League Four , 7pts behind unbeaten leaders Hessle but with two games in hand. Hessle defeated Otliensians at Hessle early in the season and the only other points dropped were drawing away at Garforth, who the Ensians play at Chaffers Fields this coming Saturday 5th January. The team is having an excellent run in the RFU EDF Junior Vase and is due to play at home to Castleford who lead Yorkshire League Three on 12th January in the 6th round tie which is down to the last 32 Clubs. The team has played some good rugby and showed a strong desire to win as demonstrated at Northallerton two weeks ago when the side were without several regular players. Leading points scorer is Captain Will Foster with 137 pts; 62 tries have been scored by 18 players with wing Jon Woods on 7 tries and back row Rob Arbuckle with 6 tries. In the League the team has scored 252 pts with 112 pts against.

For the 2nd XV the Merit Table was completely revised, the 2nd XV no longer playing primarily the 2nd XV's of the Clubs in the 1st XV League. Unfortunately the initial reorganisation omitted Otliensians and this was rectified too late for a full Merit list to be set up for the 2nd XV; in addition the Merit Table has been changed into a League. The team has won the three League games played and in total has won 13 of the 14 games played scoring 682 pts with 95 pts against. They have played some really good attacking rugby and at this level have a strength in depth with 103 tries scored by 24 players. Leading points scorer is stand off Neil Barlow with 117 points; wing Dan Cooley has scored 15 tries and centre Andy Hayward 13 tries.

The 3rd XV have also improved winning five of their thirteen games compared with winning six games all last season. They have scored 218 pts with 265 pts against including 37 tries from 25 players compared with 45 tries during 2006/07. Leading scorers are Mark Copping and Andy Wood with three tries each. The team has been helped on occasions by the appearance of some more experienced older players which has helped give closer contests in some of the more difficult games.

Team Managers Brian Webster ( 1st XV ) Roger Whitworth ( 2nd XV ) assisted by Dave Beardsley and John Harrison ( 3rd XV ) have done an excellent job as have the teams organised by John Churchman to provide after match cups of tea and travel with the teams and the ladies who serve the players teas.

A special thank you to Derek Smith and Roy Aldridge for refereeing the 2nd and 3rd XV often at short notice as well as to the other referees provided by the Yorkshire Society, in particular Mike Ramsden and John Fisher who organise the officials for the North Yorkshire Area.