Missed conversion denies Otley home win

Ilkley Gazette: Freddie Watson's try gave Otley an early lead Freddie Watson's try gave Otley an early lead

Otley 12, Preston Grasshoppers 13

Otley found themselves just one point in arrears when the final whistle went and once again they will have felt they had done enough to win a vital SSE National League Two North match.

In a game heavily influenced by a pre-match downpour, they could not equal the kicking power of their opponents and this proved to be the essential requirement.

They are obviously missing the boot of the injured Mark Ireland - never more so when they were unable to score with a simple penalty late in the game when they were fighting back with vigour.

They took the lead on five minutes when scrum half Stephen Depledge scooped up a charged-down clearing kick to spurt through the middle and find No 8 Freddie Watson in support to go over near the posts, centre Chris Gemmell converting.

With all the forwards indistinguishable, it was a battle in the mud and no quarter was given.

Otley drove over but conceding a penalty, of which there were many, but Preston's former Wharfedale prop Peter Altham did get over, the referee requiring reassurance from his assistant before awarding a try, as he did for two others.

With both sides battling heartily, they were cancelling each other out until the 51st minute when full back Sean Taylor put Preston ahead with a penalty, and ten minutes later a try from winger Matthew Gargett had them sitting pretty.

But Otley roused themselves and, although missing the penalty, they got substitute winger Boluaji Fagborun in at the corner on 80 minutes, only to find the conversion into the wind beyond them.

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