Aire Wharf Cup
AIRE – WHARF CUP 1st Round
OTLEY SARACENS 41 OLD OTLIENSIANS 1st VX 10
On Wednesday evening in front of a large Otley crowd these two close rivals fought out a tremendous game of rugby. Otley who included five of last years under 17’s team in their pack, started the stronger and showed their power in the first scrum, pushing Ensians back 10 meters. Ensians however, came straight back at Otley and certainly showed that they had come to compete. Otley were winning the break down area, and after a number of Ensians infringements were awarded a penalty which they kicked to within yards of the Otliensians line. From the resultant lineout Otley scored their first try from a driving maul with No 8 Studd going over for the try. This was shortly followed by a fine individual try for young wing Jameel Karim who gathered in his own half and ran through a sea of players and finished under the post, duly converted by the pink booted Andy Rhodes. Moments later Karim was to strike again with another superb solo effort, showing some superb pace, again converted by Rhodes.
At 19-0 Otley looked to be cruising however Ensians struck back with a penalty and then a fine try and conversion on the stroke of half time leaving the score finely balanced at 19-10.
In the second half Otley introduced another of their fine youngsters , Jake Armstrong into the front row, joining fellow under 17’s from last year, Will Rigg and Henry Walker, making this, what must be Otley’s youngest ever senior front row.
Otliensians completed well for long periods but the Otley back row of George Studd, Chris Matthews and Mat Stevens tackled superbly, knocking the big Ensians forward back and giving no ground what so ever.
As Ensians tired Otley scored further tries. Firstly through centre Oli Brown followed shortly by a fine effort off winger Tom Barnes.
The game was finally killed of when a Rhodes penalty struck the post, Otley gathered the rebound and after some fine pick and drives , Otey’s captain and man of the match Dave Graham was able to burrow over for their sixth try, again converted by Rhodes to leave the final score at 41-10 to Otley.
Considering the oldest player in the Otley team was only 24, this was a great team display and they can go into the next round with a great deal of confidence after a superb effort by all the squad.
Team:- W Rigg, H Walker Molloy, J Smith, J Lawrence, C Matthews, M Stevens, G Stud, D Graham L Jacobs J Kareem, A Sheffield, O Brown, T Barnes, A Rhodes subs J Offer, D Secker, J Armstrong, D Copse, R Smith