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Otliensians make winning start
8:47am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Sport
Old Otliensians 20 Skipton 8
Otliensians made a sound start to the season with a convincing first round win.
Skipton relegated from Yorkshire Two last season, League last season, couldn’t cope with the lively home backs.
They ran in two fine first-half ties while full back Kristian Keinhorst kicked two penalties and two conversions to establish a 20-5 half-time lead.
The second half was a complete contrast with Otliensians having to show their defensive skills to limit Skipton to a solitary penalty.
The tricky wind caused early handling errors but Otliensians quite literally got to grips with things as they took the lead in the 13th minute.
Winger Josh Howarth outpaced the cover to go in at the corner with Keinhorst converting from the touchline.
He followed this up with two penalties to stretch the lead to 13-0.
The visitors regularly attempted to open out play through their powerful backs, but the home back row of Dale Kennedy, Lee O’Donnell and Sam Featherstone along with centres Luke Cowdell and Nathan Rogers and hooker Alex Albrecht snuffed out their moves with robust defence.
In the line-outs flanker Featherstone and lock Wade supplied clean ball for half backs Ieuan Cranswick and Luke Freer to get their backs moving.
A well-worked move in mid-field gave centre Luke Cowdell space and he jinked his way through the defence from 40 metres to score a try which Keinhorst improved.
Skipton stepped up a gear and gained ground through their big pack.
From a series of well-organised rucks in the home 22 they tested the defence for five minutes before the hosts ran out of tacklers and a try was scored out wide.
Against the wind the home pack got stuck in with some good drives, but indifferent passing in the backs allowed the visitors to capitalise on spilled ball.
Skipton converted a penalty to narrow the margin at 20-8 after 47 minutes.
Winger Rob Lofthouse, centre Dom Oddy and new prop Dominic Hignett came on as replacements and helped to stem the flow.
Skipton dominated the possession for lengthy periods, but they could not breakdown the solid defence of the home side.
This was a good start to the season for ‘Ensians with new hooker Alex Albrecht making an impressive debut,
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