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Confident second-half display gives Otley pre-season boost
Buy this photo » Otley second-rower Matt Stephens finds his path blocked
Wharfedale 30, Otley 35
Billed on the programme as a “friendly”, this turned out to be the usual front-up “derby”, with no quarter asked or given.
Otley began strongly but a turnover gave former Otley winger Ollie Cicognini an opening, and he raced in at the corner for No 10 Tom Barrett to convert.
However, there was a swift reply, centre Michael Coady going in at the posts, giving new fly half Mark Ireland an easy conversion.
A 38-metre penalty from Barrett and a pushover, touched down by No 8 Aaron Myers, from five metres while prop Adam Blades was in the sin-bin, had the home side comfortably ahead.
But a 40-metre penalty from Ireland following the re-start pulled Otley back, only for them to allow scrum half Philip Woodhead to dodge through from a line-out, Barrett’s conversion establishing a 14-point lead after just 25 minutes.
However, Otley began to settle into their game-plan, with the forwards driving well and the backs showing their paces, and they were rewarded in the third minute of added time when scrum half Stephen Depledge, backing up a forward drive, dived over, Ireland converting.
Obviously reacting to a few well chosen words at the break Otley resumed full of confidence.
With the encouragement of an early Ireland penalty, they began to pressurise the home side, cutting down their space and making inroads into their defence.
Excellent handling sent wingman James Wood over in the corner, and a further penalty was followed by a spectacular try from No 8 Dan Temm.
He picked up and broke from 30 metres out and embarked on a dazzling run through the middle, capping a fine display.
Ireland converted, while Wharfe-dale were restricted to a drop goal and a penalty from Barrett.
* Otley Zebras are having their registration day on Sunday at Cross Green (10am).
It is for for players aged from six to 16 years, and there will also be training and a barbecue to celebrate the beginnning of the season.
Otley Zebras pride themselves on having fully-qualified coaches at all age-group levels, and have enjoyed great success on the field at all age-group levels from the Yorkshire Cup through to county and local tournaments.
Further information is available from junior section secretary Simon Jones on 07754-383510.
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