Otliensians are enjoying life at the top of Yorkshire Division Four

Wharfedale Observer: Ben Hatton takes a shot at goal Ben Hatton takes a shot at goal

At the mid-point of the season Old Otliensians can look back on probably the most successful start in their history.

The first team are undefeated and lying six points clear at the top of Yorkshire Division Four.

Skipper Ieuan Cranswick has led them to ten wins and a draw in their league matches ahead of Saturday’s trip to Halifax Vandals.

The 2ndXV has had mixed fortunes with skipper Alan Garnett regrettably having to retire through injury at the start of the season while six of last year’s regulars have been unavailable.

Nevertheless, they have won six of their 11 games and lie sixth in their Merit Table.

For the first time for several years, ‘Ensians have managed to field a third team on a couple of occasions and they have won one and lost one.

Full back Ben Hatton holds the distinction of being top scorer for both the first and second teams.

Hatton has notched up 75 points for the firsts from one try, 17 conversions, 11 penalties and one dropped goal.

He earned his place in the side by scoring 46 points from three tries, 14 conversions and one penalty for the second team.

Winger Declan Jackson is leading try scorer with 12 for the firsts while Joe Hatton has run in eight for the seconds.

Commenting on the season so far, coach John Walker said: “The lads are not taking anything for granted and are approaching every game like it’s a cup final.

“They have a massive amount of faith in their ability to close out every game without panicking and this has helped in a couple of tight matches where they came out on top.

“Their ability to keep the game at a high tempo thereby wearing teams down, has been key.

“This is down to the hard work they have put in on the training park, especially the fitness work that Pat Cowdell of Club Energy has put them through.

“This combined with club captain Ieuan Cranswick’s attitude of leading by example has stood them in good stead.”

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