A Most Mysterious Case
An in form Otliensiens looked ready for Twickenham, but Baildon ran them close and shaded the second half.
'Ensiens are in promotion spot and have a Twickenham final in the Junior Vase. Unsurprisingly they looked a strong side with players wanting to impress for the visit to HQ and confidence, quite rightly, high. By contrast Baildon are in a relegation spot and short of confidence.
'Ensiens drew first blood with a penalty for the Baildon back line straying offside. (0-3)
Ollie WIlliams leveled the score when 'Ensiens infringed at the other end of the pitch (3-3)
Baildon defended well but missed John Pickersgill in the line out.
'Ensiens' first try came after multiple phases of attack around the narrow angles of the ruck. Having earned the right to go wide, the ball was worked rapidly to the opposite wing for a well taken try. (3-8)
If 'Ensiens' first try was good, their second was sublime. The 'Ensiens fly half spotted a flat defensive line coming up quickly and no sweeper in defence. He placed a delightfully weighted kick that would certainly not be out of place in Twickenham. The winger, alert to the move, collected and dotted down in the left corner. (3-13)
There was no shame in conceding either of these tries. They were well worked and 'Ensiens earned them. Otherwise Baildon were strong in defence and ended the half in the ascendance. (3-13 HT)
If 'Ensiens were expecting a capitulation it did not come. Baildon kept the potent 'Ensien attack at bay. Even when Matt Fox received a yellow card for a tackle judged late, the only points conceded were through the boot with a penalty kick. (3-16).
Baildon had several shouts for a try, but were turned over in red zone or held up.
With full time approaching, Matt Dixon made several line breaks and looked certain to score. Dixon was hauled down short but got the pass away to Robbie Hill who was tracking. Ollie Williams converted. (10-16 FT)
Baildon won the second half and although they gained a losing bonus point, might have sneaked the win. A performance that had the team's supporters scratching their heads. Why can we put in performances like this against top sides at their best, but not perform or put away weaker teams?
It's a mystery.