Rugby Union: Strong start sees Otley clinch back-to-back wins

Otley goalkicker Stephen Depledge.
Otley goalkicker Stephen Depledge.
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Otley made it back-to-back victories in a close encounter which resulted in an 18-12 success against Stourbridge, in National 2 North.

Otley, fresh from overcoming Luctonians, had their points scored by the mid-way stage in soggy conditions which restricted their attacking impetus. When they did manage to create enough space, however, their finishing was clinical, with centre Jack Mackie and wing Henry Roberts scoring tries for the second time in as many weeks.

Skipper and leading points scorer Stephen Depledge converted one and kept the scoreboard ticking over with two further penalties, while Stourbridge could only answer with an unconverted try. At 18-5 up, Otley continued to keep ball in hand for the second half but opportunities became fewer and fewer. When the visitors crossed for their second try and converted it, a tense finale was guaranteed, but Otley remained strong in defence to make sure of the win.

Morley’s National 3 North game at Rossendale was called off due to the frosty weather as was Harrogate’s clash at Stockport in National 2 North.

Elsewhere, in National One it was another case of what might have been as Wharfedale lost 17-12 to title-chasers Rosslyn Park. The young Wharfedale side showed character in restricting their illustrious visitors to three first-half tries and attacking for almost the entire second period.

The basis of Rosslyn Park’s win was their first-half performance. Two tries came from a driving maul, one when No 8 Hugo Ellis was driven over, the second when pressure created a gap for winger Joseph Aluwa. Ellis had scored his second three minutes after his first, when an apparent collision off the ball allowed him to sprint in from 35 yards.

Dan Solomi had soon outpaced the defence and Jamie Guy converted. And, on 27 minutes, James Tyson, later to leave the pitch injured, finished a Wharfedale maul to level the scores. For all their second-half pressing, however, the Greens could not score again.