Local rugby union: Rowntree’s the inspiration as Otley claim last-gasp win

Joe Rowntree.
Joe Rowntree.
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Joe Rowntree came off the bench to inspire hosts Otley to a last-gasp victory, beating Sedgley Park 28-26 in National Two North.

Otley were down 9-5 at the half but replacement Rowntree began chipping away at Sedgley Park’s lead with a try in the 50th minute and then again 15 minutes later.

Sedgley Park got a try of their own to take the score to 26-25 but Rowntree provided the goods again with a penalty three minutes from time; this time, Otley held on to take the full five points.

Hosts Wharfedale fell to third-placed Hinckley 33-20, slipping to fourth from bottom.

The Yorkshire side were still in the competition at half-time with Hinckley narrowly ahead 19-15. But Hinckley restricted them to an unconverted try whilst crossing the line twice themselves to further their lead, snapping a five-game losing streak on the road.

Leaders Hull Ionians started off the new year in typical fashion, beating hosts Peterborough Lions 25-15.

The first half belonged to the visitors after tries from full-back Sam Wilson and second row Ed Falkingham helped them to a 17-0 lead. Peterborough scored two of their own in the second half but Ben Whyte assured the leaders would walk away with the victory eight minutes from time with a try out wide.

Huddersfield travelled to Preston Grasshoppers and came away 27-22 winners.

Huddersfield led a cagey first half 8-0 with their try coming from Lewis Workman but Preston capitalised soon after the break, scoring from an intercepted pass.

A string of penalties followed by two tries from Alex Battye and Kian Stewart secured Huddersfield’s 10th win of the season.

Harrogate ran in six tries on their way to a 36-25 win over Rossendale in the North Premier League. Elsewhere, Ilkley battled to a deserved 31-17 win at Kirkby Lonsdale, while Sandal lost out 23-18 at home against Billingham.

In North One East there was a much-needed 31-22 victory for West Leeds over Percy Park, with tries coming from wingers Mark Calderwood and Alex Hughes as well as No 8 John Marshall.

Leaders Scarborough were 29-19 winners at Cleckheaton, while Huddersfield YMCA edged a 34-31 victory over Bradford and Bingley.