OLD Otliensians made the trip down the M1 to Barnsley in search of some points to give impetus to their season, and they got exactly that with a much-needed 22-17 away win.

A losing run is difficult to break, but each game is a potential new dawn and ‘Ensians were intent on a good performance in this challenging away fixture.

A very strong wind caused immediate problems for both sides and playing the conditions was clearly going to be the focus of tactics.

For the first quarter of the match, ‘Ensians had little territory or ball and defence was the priority.

However, the visitors gained a foothold in the Barnsley 22 and after a good line-out, penalty and scrum right on the try line, inside half James Bagnall went over near the corner.

Kicking from the tee was never going to be easy and against a corner-to-corner wind, and with no conversion ‘Ensians led 5-0 after 20 minutes.

Although ‘Ensians looked dangerous, they were pegged back by Barnsley kicks and were perhaps lucky to have taken the lead against the run of play.

This was short-lived and from a clearance kick, Barnsley ran the ball back and despite good defensive work by the visitors, forced their way over for a converted try to give them a 7-5 lead on the half-hour mark.

A Barnsley penalty straight from the re-start saw a great kick put them back on the attack, but the defence held and Will Cooper returned the compliment with a lovely penalty clearance into home territory.

A good line-out take by Dougie Elgar and a weaving run by Ronan Maloney from full back exerted pressure on Barnsley’s line and then, from a quick tapped penalty, winger Tom Beddis went over in the corner.

The conversion attempt failed and following a passage of even play in the centre of the field, Barnsley put themselves in the visitors’ 22 and would have been disappointed not to come away with points.

‘Ensians held their line and half-time came with them leading 10-7.

The second period opened and it became apparent that good running and handling by both teams was being negated by fundamental penalty-giving errors in the tackle, ruck and scrum areas.

Thus after forays into opposition territory, clearance kicks quickly turned attack into defence for both teams.

Forwards needed to settle down and maintain possession, but both packs were guilty of careless play.

Following some kicking 'tennis', an ‘Ensian knock-on led to a scrum penalty and the score was tied at 10 points each after 50 minutes.

A third try for the visitors came from a classic push-over set piece, with skipper Sam Featherstone at No 8 claiming the five points.

Penalties proliferated and play was anything but continuous, but the hosts put some good phases together and after 25 minutes of the second half a well-worked converted try took them into a 17-15 lead.

‘Ensians stirred themselves and a great run by centre Joe Warner led to Luke Cowdell with a lot to do. Not a problem.

On his return from a hamstring injury, Cowdell's determination and strength saw him crash through and over.

Will Cooper converted and a dying-minutes missed penalty mattered not.

‘Ensians had earned a 22-17 victory and their supporters applauded the final whistle with smile on their faces and spring in their step.