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- Old Otliensians win Junior Vase
Old Otliensians RUFC defeated South Molton RFC 32-21 to clinch the RFU Junior Vase for the first time in their history.
The Yorkshire outfit struck after just four minutes, through wing Connor Bateman, who was found in space on the right flank by full back Alex Murphy. Fly half William Coper was unable to add the extras.
South Molton’s woes continued from the restart, as lock Jeremy Darley was shown a yellow card after making a seatbelt tackle, and Old Otliensians capitalised on the extra man advantage immediately, as wing Alistair Booth scythed through the South Moulton line before lifting a well-weighted offload to his inside centre William Eaves. The missed conversion made it 10-0.
Undeterred, South Molton continued to play to their strengths by keeping it tight, and forced repeated scrum penalties, with fly half Callum Stone slotting three penalties in the first 40. But Old Otliensians got their third try, via captain Sam Featherstone, and their fourth on the stroke of half time courtesy of full back Murphy, with Coper’s two successful conversions making it 24-9 at the break.
South Molton started the second half stronger, and scored their first try of the match through scrum half Zak Stoneman, who combined with number eight Daniel Smith off the base of a five metre scrum. The missed kick made it 24-14.
Continued pressure on the Old Otliensians scrum handed South Molton a foothold in the game, as Otliensians prop Daniel Stevens was sent to the bin. Shortly after, Molton’s Smith duly barrelled over from the base of another strong scrum. The kick cut the deficit to just three points.
But another yellow for South Molton in the shape of substitute prop David Kift gave Old Otliensians a momentum shift, and they scored try number five with 10 minutes left on the clock through outside centre Luke Cowdell.
A further three points from man of the match Coper gave Old Otliensians an 11 point lead in the dying embers of the match, and sealed a historic win for the Yorkshire club.