OLD Otliensians suffered a 31-15 defeat to Harrogate Pythons in a very physical hard fought Yorkshire Three encounter on Saturday.

Harrogate opened the game on full throttle, pinning Otliensians in their own 22.

'Ensians tackled valiantly but in the sixth minute, the home side's powerful flanker crashed through to open the scoring. The conversion was unsuccessful.

The visitors knew from the tempo, they were in for a very physical contest.

Harrogate was eventually penalised for being offside, giving 'Ensians a chance to put some points on the board and long-range penalty kick by winger Conner Bateman took the score to 5-3.

Unfortunately, offside infringements were a common feature for the rest of the game from the home side.

From the restart, Harrogate drove back deep into 'Ensians half. A rolling maul erupting from a powerful scrum saw the home side's prop barrel over for their second try, just to the right of the posts. An easier conversion took the score to 12-3.

For the rest of the half, the visitors were under constant pressure. The few times 'Ensians had the ball they looked dangerous.

On the half hour mark, 'Ensians backs began closing the gap on Harrogate. James Bagnall chipped the ball into space behind his opposing stand-off, enabling inside centre Oliver Eaves to follow up, gather and score in the corner. The conversion, which was too much to ask, left the score at 12-8.

Harrogate's athletic backs piled on the pressure from the restart, and within minutes their outside centre sliced through 'Ensians' defences to score near the posts on the 36th minute. A clean conversion saw the scores at 19-8 at the halfway mark.

In the second half, Harrogate showed no signs of fatigue and continued in the same vain as the first. Their tackling was unyielding and the scrummaging was solid and controlled.

With 60 minutes gone, the home side shipped the ball down the line to their winger, who stepped inside slicing through 'Ensians defensive line, to score in the corner, making it 24-8.

'Ensians worked courageously to cease the onslaught and were rewarded with a converted try, thanks to Bateman, but Harrogate's merciless pressure saw them make the final score 31-15.