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Otley's prospects founder in the Cross Green mud
Otley 0, Darlington Mowden Park 27
Experiencing muddy conditions for the first time in a while, Otley’s game-plan floundered while Darlington, employing the high ball effectively via fly half Grant Connon, were in control for most of the afternoon, their big forwards relishing the chase.
They demonstrated their intentions immediately, returning Otley’s kick-off with a steepler and, after a failed drop- goal attempt from Connon, they stole the ball at the base of an Otley scrum under the posts for prop Ralph Appleby to get over, Connon converting.
As conditions worsened, muddied players struggled to control a slippery ball and scoring chances were few.
Otley winger James Twomey slipped his man only to see his kick through pushed into touch with a sliding tackle and then, on 22 minutes, centre Michael Coady was shown a yellow card, followed five minutes later by lock Jonathan Stannard and Darlington prop Dan Miller.
In their absence, rk centre Lewis Johnson went over to extend the visitors’ lead.
Otley were certainly missing their line-busting prop Toby Williams, absent with an illness, and were finding it difficult to feed their speedy wingmen.
However, Ollie Cicognini produced one storming run when attacking from deep and Twomey was pulled down just short, and though they battled hard it was Darlington who took their chances - a penalty from Connon, a second try for Johnson converted by Connor and a late try for winger Sean McCartney.