Old Otliensians face title clash

Sam Featherstone scored the final try

Sam Featherstone scored the final try

First published in Sport

Old Otliensians 45 Hessle 12

Old Otliensians Yorkshire League Division Four championship ambitions will be put to the test on Saturday when they visit second-placed Stocksbridge.

They will go into battle defending an unbeaten record which was stretched to 17 games by their latest success.

The home side were soon on the scoreboard when full back Ben Hatton stepped up to slot over a penalty from the halfway line.

Struggling Hessle hit back and took the lead when Otliensians were caught off guard at a line-out and conceded a try. Otliensians didn’t have to wait long to regain the lead. Hessle were penalised for holding on to the ball and Ben Hatton slotted the penalty.

Before the game was even ten minutes old, Ben Hatton landed his third penalty after a charging run from Dom Hignett was halted by a high tackle.

On the occasions that Hessle exerted pressure they found the tackling of home backs Dom Oddy, Luke Cowdell and winger Joe Hatton to be uncompromising.

Otliensians secured their first try of the game when Rob Arbuckle made a break down the blind side, and fed scrum half Rob Lofthouse who put flanker Sam Featherstone away to score in the corner. The league leaders were turning the screw.

Rob Arbuckle broke off the base of a scrum and swapped passed with Lee O’Donnell before scoring under the posts. Ben Hatton converted giving for a 21-5 lead.

Newcomer James Wilkinson replaced Ali Campbell at lock just before half-time.

Otliensians were quickly into their stride after the break.

Joe Hatton took advantage of the visitors’ defence being out of position and made a break into the Hessle half.

Great interplay and off loading by both forwards and backs saw hooker Jim Dyson gallop in for a try.

Hessle weren’t giving up the fight. A knock on in defence gave Hessle a scrum on the five metre line which they won before smashing their way over the line for a converted try.

A turnover by Arbuckle gave the home side another chance to attack. Again the home backs were looking dangerous, Keinhorst was distributing well, bringing Oddy and Cowdell into play.

Wingers Declan Jackson and Joe Hatton took the break into the opposition half where good support from the forwards, led to Dyson going in for his second try of the game.

The conversion by Ben Hatton was successful and the bonus point had been secured. A number of scoring chances were squandered as Otliensians took control before quick thinking by Lofthouse put Jackson in for a try.

Luke Freer replaced the injured Cowdell at outside centre and Otliensians were reduced to 14 men when hooker Dyson was shown a yellow card.

Hessle were awarded a string of penalties which they opted to run. Some great tackles kept the visitors out.

The final score came after the dominant home scrum won another strike against the head. O’Donnell broke down the blind side and put Featherstone away for his second try. Ben Hatton’s conversion was successful to round off the victory.

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