Castleford 7 Old Otliensians 23

OTLIENSIANS produced an effective performance to secure a bonus-point win over their Yorkshire Three promotion rivals.

The scoreboard did not truly reflect the dominance of the visitors who did not make the most of all their scoring opportunities.

Otliensians played some delightful rugby with great running lines, aggressive rucking, resolute tackling and a belief that they would win the match.

Although still not able to field an absolutely full-strength side the men on duty all played their part.

Cas is quite an imposing place to visit and even a slender 5-0 half-time lead didn't seem to trouble Otliensians.

Losing Connor Bateman through injury left them without a recognised goal kicker and with John Offer leaving the field after a knock, a reshuffle of the front row was necessary.

Try scorers Alex Murphy (2), Olly Eaves and Joe Armitage were also stand-out performers on the day while prop Paddy Phipps was here, there and everywhere. Both sides’ tackling was solid and for long periods neither made much ground, with play rarely crossing the gain line.

Try-scoring opportunities were squandered by the visitors in the first half when they did manage to make some good breaks.

The Castleford pack were beginning to be out-rucked and their scrum was creaking, yet before the break they found energy and attacked strongly, but to no avail.

In the second half an ‘Ensian penalty and a second try took the score to 13-0, but Castleford found territory in the visitors’ 22, won a penalty, kicked to the corner and pushed over from the ensuing line-out.

A good conversion saw them back in the game at 13-7, but Otliensians came straight back and pinned the hosts in their own half.

A lovely movement with the ball passing through the hands at pace brought another, unconverted, try and Castleford were struggling.

In the dying moments, a forward drive put Armitage over the line for the bonus-point try and due reward for his afternoon’s efforts.