Halifax suffer at promotion-chasing Otliensians

Old Otliensians 34 Halifax 0

Having disposed of Roundhegians at Ovenden Park in the first round of the Aire Wharfe Cup in midweek, Halifax appeared to be in good form for this game against Yorkshire Four high-flyers Otliensians.

The first 15 minutes saw Halifax storm the home line but Otliensians held firm. They were penalised several times but that advantage could not be converted into points, and once the hosts broke out the true nature of the task before Halifax became clear.

The opposition had a set of three quarters who were fleet of foot and sure of hands, and although Halifax tried bravely to stem that flow their fluency in support and pace was bound to prevail.

It took 21 minutes for the home side to break the deadlock with a try on the Halifax right. The Otliensians goal-kicker did not have too successful a day and failed to convert this and two other tries before his one conversion produced a half time score of 22—0.

Halifax did contribute to their difficulties by surrendering the ball, mainly by poor kicking when retention of possession may have served them better.

They did well in this area of play with some strong drives around the breakdown, but Otliensians were a physically strong side and proved most difficult to break down.

Halifax also had their problems in the lineout, although the illegal practices of the home side’s front jumper - going across and interfering with his opponent - was not picked up by the referee until late in the game when he penalised the offender more than once.

Halifax’s troubles continued in the second half, but they battled on and restricted the hosts to two further tries, one converted.

Halifax again had a purple patch in the last 15 minutes and camped on the home line, but could not break the powerful defence down. Affairs became a little heated and one man from each side was yellow-carded.

Halifax tried everything to break their duck, but undue haste, less than perfect handling, and the strength of the defence all conspired to thwart their efforts.