OORUFC Match Report
11th January 2020

OORUFC 25 vs 24 Knottingley
A tough game sees a late try & conversion clinch the win for Ensians

On a windy cool day at Chaffer's Field but on a pitch in good condition 'Ensians knew they had a tough game ahead when they hosted their first return game of the season against high flyers Knottingley who had only lost one league game this season.

Playing into the strong wind the Home team were quickly causing problems for the Visitors' defence attacking into their half and after 5 minutes Connor Bateman made the initial break, continued by Olly Eaves ,who passed to winger Connor Paley who sprinted to score an unconverted try to give an early lead.

Knottingley spent much of the next 15 minutes in the Home half but good defence kept them at bay. However after 22 minutes a nice move from the Visitors saw the ball opened out from the Home 22 and the winger outpaced the defence to even the scores with an unconverted try.

Soon afterwards with the help of penalties 'Ensians made headway into the Knottingley 22 and then a further offence gave the 3 points for a Will. Cooper penalty.

The Visitors were not using their tail wind to their full benefit but after 30 minutes the Home team were penalised and Knottingley gained a lineout 20 metres from the Home line. Good lineout ball followed by snappy passing and a powerful break by the Knottingley's man of the match in the centre gave the Visitors a fine try to give them the lead by 8 points to 12 .

After one player from each side had been given a yellow card for a "handbags" offence, the Visitors gained a lineout in a dangerous situation ,and a missed tackle enabled them to score a converted try to extend their lead.

With about 7 minutes of the half remaining 'Ensians showed their spirit by storming to within 10 metres of the Visitors' line .The Visitors were under intense pressure resulting in penalties being awarded to the Home team and two yellow cards to the Visitors.

It was now 14 players against 12 and 'Ensians were electing to take scrums for the penalties. The first one was saved by the Visitors but they incurred yet another penalty and the Home team scored a pushover try by Luke Cowdell converted by Will Cooper giving a most respectable half time score of 15 points to 19 in Knottingley's favour.

The first 15 minutes of the second half saw the Home team making basic mistakes giving the visitors few problems. With full teams again Knottingley gained in confidence and from a penalty on their 22 their strong forwards made 30 metres from numerous phases .A neat break by the Visitor's backs into the Home 22 resulted in an unconverted try by Knottingley increasing their lead to 9 points.

The Visitors came straight back from the kick off but a try saving tackle by Olly Eaves saved the day. Their forwards were causing mayhem in the Home defence but somehow they were contained and by using the wind play moved into the Visitors' half.

The Home team settled down and after 23 minutes Connor Bateman scored a penalty goal to reduce the arrears to 6 points.This spurred the team on,Keiron Walker was prominent in the lineouts and despite a few basic mistakes play was taking place the Visitors' half. 'Ensians now showed they were the fitter team and spurred on by Captain Sam Featherstone and Rob Arbuckle they hammered the Visitor's defence .They seemed about to score when play was stopped for a Knottingley head injury with 5 minutes to go and the Home supporters thought that was it.

The team had other ideas and from a quickly taken penalty by Rob Arbuckle the ball was passed to 'Ensians man of the match Luke Cowdell who powered through the whole of the Visitors' back line to score a superb try.

One point behind the conversion was crucial.From wide out with a strong wind blowing Luke Cowdell showed nerves of steel to slot it over for a famous well deserved victory by one point .

John Churchman

Match Photos