Three-try Otley close gap on their play-offs rivals

Morley's Karl Bradshaw scores a try.
Morley's Karl Bradshaw scores a try.
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Otley narrowed the gap on their opposition in the National 2 North play-off places with a 15-10 win at fifth-placed Caldy.

Going into the clash, Caldy held a 10-point advantage over Otley despite sitting only one place above them in the table and the visitors knew a victory would go a long way towards bridging that gap, with a game in hand.

The platform for the win was built on a first-half performance which included two tries. Skipper Stephen Depledge and lock Jack Scott-Paul both profited from the possession Otley enjoyed, to establish a 10-0 half-time advantage.

Caldy pulled back a penalty after the interval but they were hit by Otley’s third try when flanker Matt Heaton crossed for the precious points.

Caldy posed a few problems for Otley’s defence towards the end when they pulled back a converted try but the visitors held on to make sure of the win.

Elsewhere in National 2 North, a late try ended up costing Sandal as they slipped to a 26-20 defeat at Sale.

Sandal are now without a win in seven and they were 10-0 down to a penalty and converted try before the interval.

However, they hit back with a try from No.8 Sam Whittingham when Sale were down to 14 men and then drew level with a penalty from fly-half Greg Wood.

Sandal then went ahead following a charge-down which fell for centre Dave Martin to run in unopposed. Two penalties pulled Sale within a point, though, and centre Chris Mayor crossed for the winning try. Sandal added a penalty 10 minutes from the end but couldn’t find the try they needed in the latter stages to steal the points.

In a close game Harrogate edged a 27-23 victory at Chester.

Harrogate tries came from Callum Irvine, Willem Enslin, Sam Bottomley and Noel Minikin.

Morley cruised to victory but missed out on an additional bonus point in their 23-0 home success over Morpeth in North 1 East.

The Maroons made the best possible start against their eighth-placed opponents with a try in the first minute when winger Karl Bradshaw got free to score out wide. They then went on to dominate the first half but could only extend their half-time advantage to 11-0 through two penalties by skipper Mark Chester.

After the break Morley struck again within six minutes with a well worked try which was finished by prop Ben Bell. However, Morpeth started to gain a foothold in the game after that.

Possession was held by the visitors for long periods, frustrating Morley’s hopes of a four-try bonus, but the hosts did manage to finish on a high when a splendid move from half-way ended with flanker Will Smyth touching down and Chester adding the kick.

In National One, Wharfedale earned two valuable points from a 35-29 defeat at Ampthill.

Richard Mayhew

Mayhew honoured to lead Carnegie