Table-topping Old Otliensians just avoid a slip up against battling Ossett

Wharfedale Observer: Nathan Rogers scored a try for Otliensians Nathan Rogers scored a try for Otliensians

Ossett 20 Old Otliensians 24

A try and a penalty goal in the final six minutes enabled the Yorkshire Division Four leaders to snatch victory.

Ossett seemed to enjoy the muddy conditions more and came close to upsetting Otliensians.

The visitors struggled in the scrums and their speedy backs found the going difficult, but the team showed enough character to pull through.

The heavier home pack were soon dictating terms and when Otliensians failed to clear the slippery ball, Ossett pounced for a converted try.

Although Otliensians were being pushed back in the scrums, lock Steve Wade and flanker Sam Featherstone were producing good ball from the line-outs while full back Kristian Keinhorst was able to gain ground with long kicks.

A series of line-outs and strong drives pressured the hosts and prop Tony Myers and No.8 Rob Arbuckle went close. When Ossett infringed, full back Keinhorst kicked a penalty to narrow the gap to 7-3.

Otliensians continued to spread the ball wide and although centres Luke Cowdell and Nathan Rogers made ground, the greasy surface restricted their usual enterprising play and the home side were able to capitalise on any loose ball. A penalty by Ossett was followed by one from Keinhorst.

After the break Keinhorst moved to fly half for the injured Luke Freer with Ben Hatton coming on at the full back. Flanker Jack Smith made his debut at No. 6 with Lee O’Donnell moving to No.8 and Toby Barltrop replacing Ali Campbell at lock.

The re-jigged pack set about their opponents with renewed vigour and good driving from prop Ross Nichols, lock Wade and flanker Smith took play into the home 22.

Quick ball from scrum half Ieuan Cranswick put his backs away and centre Nathan Rogers forced his way over halfway out for an 11-10 lead.

Ossett responded with long kicks down the touchline to pin the visitors in their own 22 and one of the home forwards forced his way over for a converted try. Five minutes later slick passing gave Otliensians’ winger Declan Jackson the space to score a fine try.

The conversion failed leaving the hosts leading 17-16, They extended their advantage when they kicked a penalty and they sensed they had the chance to win the game.

This seemed to spur on the visitors on with time running out. They drove their opponents back with some powerful pick-and-drives while scrum half Cranswick sniped to gain ground. Good line-out ball from the impressive Smith and Wade kept up the pressure and eventually prop Ross Nichols was driven over.

In the closing minutes Hatton kicked a penalty. to wrap up the victory.

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