Depledge boots Otley to a well-deserved home victory

Luke Norbury
Luke Norbury
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Otley secured their second win of the season in National 2 North, defeating third-placed Chester 23-5 in a morale-boosting display at Cross Green.

Otley were looking for early points but failed to break down an organised defence and instead had only a Stephen Depledge penalty to their name by the half-time whistle.

A 3-0 lead meant that tactics were much the same for the second period in terms of repelling the opposition’s attack while, at the same time, the home side began to use their chances more effectively.

The scoreboard was kept ticking over by two further Depledge penalties – and two tries then helped break Chester’s resolve.

First, No.8 Jamie Sutton powered over to leave scrum-half Depledge with a straight conversion.

Then winger Kristian Sharples raced clear for his try and left Depledge with a fifth successful kick in a positive response from the Otley side and lift their support after last week’s heavy loss.

An injury-time try cost Morley victory in their 34-33 defeat at home to Wirral in National 3 North. The Maroons bossed the early stages and set-up a 12-0 lead with tries from inside centre Tom Moody and Tom Clough.

A fortunate bounce on 27 minutes gifted the opposition a try on their first visit to the Morley half and their confidence began to build.

A second try before half-time levelled the scores before the visitors went 22-12 ahead with a penalty and a try for fly-half Craig Harvey. Morley responded with touchdowns on 64 and 67 minutes from winger Bradley Marshall and captain Mark Chester, only for Wirral to lead 29-26 on 71 minutes with a try by winger Ali Baker.

A late penalty try made it 33-29 to Morley but, four minutes into added time, missed tackles allowed Baker to break down the right and score in the corner.

Sandal made it three wins from three with a hat-trick of tries from centre Dave Martin in their 39-34 success at Billingham.

Sandal trailed 21-3 but tries from flanker Sean Maguire and Martin reduced the deficit by half-time. Billingham added another try before the turning point came with prop Luke Norbury pushing over from a line-out.

A quick pair from Martin, including one run from a high ball caught on half-way, tipped the balance 32-28 in Sandal’s favour.

Winger Gareth Newman scored to make it 39-28 and Billingham kicked two penalties.

Harrogate outscored hosts Hull by three tries to one as they came from 14-0 down to claim a 20-20 draw against their East Yorkshire rivals.

Hull’s Greg Lound kicked three first-half penalties to give them a 9-0 interval lead.

Then with Gate pair Chris Wilson and Tom Harvey in the sin-bin, the hosts cashed in further with a try from William Haddow.

Callum Irvine and Lound exchanged penalties, before the visitors took the game to Hull, with Kyle Dench and Kerry Wood touching down, but Lound’s drop goal restored Hull’s five-point lead. The hosts were reduced to 13 men with two sin-binnings before Wood drove over for his second try to earn a draw.

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