OTLEy suffered a damaging 20-5 home defeat to fellow National Two North strugglers Sheffield on Saturday.
Scrum-half Steve Depledge opened the scoring after eight minutes, converting a penalty. Otley scored a try to briefly take the lead soon after but Sheffield were back in the driving seat with a second penalty from Depledge. Just before the break, the visitors scored their first try with flanker Sean Casey crashing over and Depledge adding the goal.
After the restart Sheffield were awarded a penalty try to make it 20-5 and although Otley pushed forward they couldn’t turn it round. Sheffield are still second from bottom but have closed the gap on Otley.
Bottom club Wharfedale put on a strong show at table-toppers Hinckley, being edged out 20-17 at Leicester Road.
The league leaders were in control early on, a hat-trick from Samuel Driver putting Hinckley 15-0 up at the break.
But a penalty try, one from skipper Phil Woodhead and a Tom Barrett goal reduced the gap.
With the hosts on the back foot and reduced to 14 men, Wharfedale went ahead with seven minutes to go, Barrett with a drop goal to put the visitors on the verge of an unlikely victory, but a late try won it for the hosts.
Sandal won for only the fourth time this season in the Northern Premier league, securing a crucial five points against strugglers Pocklington in an impressive 43-21 away victory. A brace from full-back Jack Townend put Sandal 10-0 up and despite being pegged back, they had the bonus point wrapped up before the break, prop Tom Baxter and centre Steve Nolson seeing their tries converted by Greg Wood.
Three more tries in the second half gave the score a convincing edge, centre James Ellar, scrum-half Will Morecombe and Dan Fawcett crossing to seal the victory.