Otliensians extend unbeaten run to 14 games with hard-earned victory

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Old Otliensians 27 Leeds Corinthians 14

Table-topping Otliensians produced a strong second-half performance to come from one point down to secure a win that extends their lead in Yorkshire Division Four to 11 points.

Corinthians saw a penalty attempt fall short before Ben Hatton kicked Otli- ensians into a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes.

The advantage was short lived because the home side were penalised at the restart and Corinthians levelled.

Home winger Josh Howarth fielded a long kick in his own half and proceeded to beat two defenders before exchanging passes with full back Hatton to take play right up the line.

The home side continued to move the ball about and good inter-passing down the right put winger Declan Jackson away for an excellent try.

Corinthians weathered the storm and stunned their opponents by sneaking ahead with a long-range penalty and a drop goal.

Being behind by one point stirred the home side into action and they produced a series of flowing back moves which allowed winger Jackson to outpace the cover and score his second try.

From the re-start the home side drove up the left flank with slick inter-passing between forwards and backs.

Centres Luke Cowdell and Nathan Rogers made good ground before moving the ball inside to winger Howarth who went in near the posts for a superb try.

The conversion by Hatton stretched the lead to 20-9 after 46 minutes as Corin- thians’ heads began to droop.

Both sides began to get on the wrong side of the referee who handed out two yellow cards to each team.

The lighter Otliensians pack took on their opponents with some strong drives through locks Jack Smith and Steve Wade with good support from Arbuckle and O’Donnell.

They extended their lead when scrum half Rob Lofthouse nipped round a ruck to score near the posts and secure the bonus point. Hatton’s successful con- version increased the lead to 27-9.

Far from thinking all was over, Corinthians set about the hosts with renewed vigour and drove into the 22 where they proceeded to bombard the line through both forwards and backs.

Although the home side produced its trademark solid defence, play became scrappy and disjointed as the referee awarded a succession of penalties against Otliensians.

Eventually the pressure paid off and the visitors scored a consolation try in the corner. The conversion failed leaving the final score at 27-14.

For most of the game, the home side kept their heads and played quality rugby against an improved side.

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