Ionians Overcome Obstinate Otley

On to part two of the double header at Hull Ionians last weekend. In true serial style, complete with ‘Previously...’ I’ll remind you that my last post covered the encounter between Yorkshire Carnegie and Doncaster Knights. Officially a Carnegie home fixture, the Leeds club is using its cup campaign to tour the county. It certainly proved fruitful on this occasion as the Hull club was the backdrop for a Carnegie win.

Second on the bill, but by no means second in terms of skill and excitement, came Ionians themselves against Otley.  I’d seen Otley beat third placed Hinckley only seven days previously so their hopes must have been high despite Ionians currently occupying top spot in the league. As it happens, Hinckley are the only side to have beaten Ionians so far this season.

Close upper tier attention for an Ionians lineout

You can get the details from Ionians’ report on the game. It was very exciting and pretty well balanced for much of the game. Both sides were strong in the back and both had players with pace. Scores were exchanged until the two sides settled on 21 each. With ten minutes to go it was Ionians who broke the deadlock.

Ionians try coming - for Ben Stephenson (?)

As often happens, they then scored again and ended up winning by ten points, 31-21. This gives the result an air of comfort for the home side but I think all would agree it was certainly a close encounter of the nail biting kind.

Hanging On

Photographically it was somewhat frustrating. This often happens when I try to cover both sides by staying at one end for the whole game. That way each team spends forty minutes attacking in my direction.  

 Another forwards try coming - this time Adam Thomas, I think

Another forwards try coming - this time Adam Thomas, I think

On the day this didn’t work at all. Generally speaking Otley had the better of things in the first half, when they were playing away from me. In the second forty they defended well but forays into the Ionians’ half were relatively rare. Of course, Ionians’ dramatic winning scores in the second half also took place at the other end of the pitch. 

 Scrum half and perhaps a Movember exponent, Sam Crane demonstrates the art of the box kick

Scrum half and perhaps a Movember exponent, Sam Crane demonstrates the art of the box kick

In retrospect, I should have concentrated on Ionians for the whole game. After all, I’d done so for Otley in a previous match and Ionians were the home side. The afternoon wasn’t entirely fruitless though and I did manage to capture a few dramatic scenes. You can see more images from the game over in the ickledot shop

Ball catcher, Otley’s Adam Malthouse was a try scorer - at the other end, of course!

Prior to the game, Ionians’ heroic captain, Dave Laverick, had asked me to take a post match team picture. I first came across Dave playing for Yorkshire a couple of seasons ago and I was very pleased to do this. Not sure they’d have looked quite so happy if the result had gone the other way!

 A victorious Hull Ionians

A victorious Hull Ionians