RFU Junior Vase quarter-final: Old Otliensians 37 Ramsey (Isle of Man) 3

DESPITE recent cold weather, the Chaffer's Field pitch was in perfect condition for their RFU Junior Vase quarter-final against Isle of Man visitors Ramsey.

The hosts had first use of a light westerly breeze and were 6-0 ahead after penalties by Will Cooper in the second and 15th minutes.

Despite fine defensive work by the Manxmen, they could not hold out against the home team's dominant scrum and expansive backs for ever, and Alex Murphy made a break on the visitors' ten-metre line in the 32nd minute.

He passed to Nick Keinhorst, who was tackled a couple of metres short, but pack pressure then led to an attacking five-metre scrum.

The set-piece then powered towards the Ramsey line, resulting in a penalty try.

After both sides had had attacking opportunities, superb line-out ball from Ali Campbell gave the home backs the room that they wanted in the 37th minute.

Winger Ali Booth was tackled just short of the line and, from the ensuing scrum, Ensians were awarded their second penalty try.

Trailing 20-0 at the interval, the Manxmen cannot have been looking forward to facing the front-row combination of

Dan Stevens, Tom Howard, Josh Dyson and Toby Keep, buoyed by the rest of the home pack, in the second half.

In the opening 15 minutes, Ramsey held sway, however, forcing but not being able to profit from a five-yard scrum before landing a penalty goal.

But just two minutes later an Olly Eaves dummy created space for a half-break and, racing diagonally towards the visitors' line, he executed a perfect back pass to Luke Cowdell, who powered over near the posts for Cooper to convert, making it 27-3.

In the 62nd minute, Cowdell went close to his second try, but a scrum near the line was finished off by the powerful Rob Arbuckle.

Ramsay hadn't finished though, and their powerful winger broke three tackles in a 50-metre burst which almost brought a try, but Ensians ended on top.

Spurning the chance of a pushover try, they opened the ball across the backs for winger Nick Hesketh to score an unconverted try.

Ensians will now be at home in the semi-finals on Easter Saturday (March 31), with Twickenham now just one step away.

They are the first club to seal their last-four berth, with the other three divisional finals to be played on Saturday, March 17 between Old Wimbledonians and Chipstead (London & South East), Bourne and Eccleshall (Midlands) and Oxford and South Molton (South West).