A SECOND half fightback by Old Otliensians came up short as they went down to a 30-19 defeat at Wath.

The game was played on a fairly narrow muddy pitch on a cold breezy and showery afternoon.

'Ensians seem to have recently been slow starters and this was no exception.

The big heavy Wath forwards took control from the start and a couple of errors and missed tackles resulted in two unconverted tries to the home team in the first ten minutes.

Despite struggling in the scrums, the visitors upped their game and after 20 minutes Rob Arbuckle made a break continued by Joe Armitage moving into the home half.

A penalty to 'Ensians followed taking play into the home 22, but sadly the ensuing line-out was lost.

Then on 27 minutes Wath scored a nice try, starting with a chip through collected by the kicker and followed by a good inside pass which wrong footed the defence, resulting in a converted try and a score of 17-0.

'Ensians then exerted pressure with the whole pack pressing, but they were unable to crack the home defence, and so the half-time score remained at 17-0 to Wath.

The second half opened with the home team pressing forward, and in a one-to-one situation outstanding full-back Rob Lofthouse pulled off a stunning try-saving tackle on a bulky home player in full flight.

The home team continued to press and despite good stern defence scored a penalty goal after ten minutes to increase their lead to 20-0.

'Ensians fought back into the home 22 putting Wath under the cosh. After five penalties to the visitors the home defence cracked and, after a half break by Arbuckle, Joe Armitage crashed through the Wath tacklers to score a fine try converted by Joe Warner.

'Ensians were playing at full tilt and three minutes later the ball was pinched by Adam Williamson, who outpaced the defence in a 50-metre race for the line to score beneath the posts, again converted by Warner.

The visitors could see victory in their sights, especially when, with 12 minutes to go, Arbuckle, who was having a fine game, flicked the ball 40 metres out to Warner, who screamed towards line and when tackled inches short flipped the ball to Ali Campbell, who dived over in the corner for a super unconverted try.

It was now 20-19 in Wath's favour but despite straining every sinew the visitors were unable to make the all important score.

Then on 37 minutes there was a string of scrums for Wath on the visitors' five metre line and with purchase difficult on the muddy pitch the home team scored a pushover try to seal the game.

On the brink of full time, however, Wath scored a stunning 40 metre drop goal, completely out of the blue, to complete the scoring at 30-19.