Otley show spirit to gain bonus point after serious injury to Ben Fairclough

Ilkley Gazette: Nazir Karim scored two more tries for Otley Nazir Karim scored two more tries for Otley

Darlington Mowden Park 37, Otley 24

Otley's SSE National League Two North match at promotion-chasing Darlington Mowden Park was held up for 55 minutes because of a neck injury to the visitors' Ben Fairclough.

The incident happened in the 25th minute and the lengthy hold up was the wait for an ambulance. Fairclough was later released but the fly half's season may be over.

Otley also had to cope with the simultaneous loss of front-rowers Ben Steele and William Rigg to the sin-bin, but, shaking off their previous week's lapse, Otley found their more recognisable style to score four tries.

Park quickly put Otley under pressure, two penalties taking them to five metres out, where, after a battle, lock Talite Viaolete was driven over, fly half Maxwell Connor converting.

But Otley swiftly replied with a good drive, the ball being moved across the field and back for full back Arnie Ellison to score, Mark Ireland converting.

Centre Callum McKenzie put the home side ahead with a converted try, and when Otley were reduced to 13 men, they took advantage to drive over, William Macauley grounding.

Otley, however, with expert handling, got winger Nazir Karim in at the corner but, still short-handed, were driven back once more for prop Joshua Bayford to claim Park's fourth try.

Immediately after the break, the lead was reduced when flanker Tom O’Donnell fought his way over, Ireland converting, but that disappeared when winger Lewis Johnson scored, Connor converting.

Nevertheless, Otley gained a bonus point when Karim went over for his second try to bring them to within seven points and a possible second bonus point - but that hope dissolved when Connor struck penalties on 70 and 77 minutes.

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