Westoe 19, Otley 20
Otley picked up another SSE National League Two North away win yesterday but it proved a struggle.
The visitors notched three tries for a 17-0 half-time lead, but Westoe came back at them, delighting in the sticky underfoot conditions while playing down their famous – in the far north at least - slope, with a stiff breeze at their backs and got within a score.
These conditions were not to Otley’s liking but they steadily built up their lead and there seemed little doubt they would add to it, only to finish in a fight to secure the win.
They started confidently, a breakthrough by No 10 Ben Cooper and a miss pass to James Twomey gave the winger time to chip for the corner and win the chase.
At this point the referee began his card game, Cooper being the first of three Otley players to be shown yellow, the home side suffering a brace of yellows and a red when No 7 Hayden Richards head- butted Adam Blades.
Clearly the better side, Otley prospered. Ben Steele, having been denied a try when deemed to have been held up, fought his way over near the posts for Cooper to convert, and another long pass from the fly half put left winger Chris Gemmell on a run for the corner.
With their supporters waiting for the bonus try, Otley stuttered, conceding two tries, one of which was converted, to let Westoe back in.
But Otley skipper Blades had no hesitation in asking his goal-kicker to go for a tricky penalty which turned out to be just enough when the hosts sneaked a converted try with three minutes remaining.