National League Two North: Luctonians 18 Otley 23

AFTER a 30-21 defeat last season at Luctonians following a long coach journey on the day of the game, Otley opted for an overnight stop this time around and it paid dividends as they notched only their second away win of the season.

A difficult on a tricky pitch meant that it was not a game for the connoisseur, but, Otley, with their coach journey out of their legs this time around, made a great start, with Tom O'Donnell scoring after just two minutes, with Joe Rowntree adding the extras.

Their man of the match also landed two penalties before Luctonians got on the scoreboard, Sam Boxhall kicking a penalty after half an hour to keep the home side within touching distance.

Many unforced errors made for a high scrum count, with Otley having the upper hand and keeping Lucs deep in their half for most of the first half, but the home side eventually got over the whitewash when Guy Kirkby was driven through from a maul.

Leading 13-8 at half-time, Otley again started the better in the second half and they stretched their advantage when Joe Graham went over from another rolling maul, with Rowntree again converting, before he added another penalty give Otley a 15-point cushion.

The home side dragged themselves back into contention when Josh Watkins rolled over from the best move of the game with 20 minutes to go, with Boxhall converting.

Lucs were searching for their first win since September and kept Otley on the back foot for the rest of the game but, apart from another Boxhall penalty, they were unable to break through a resolute Otley defence.

Despite losing Rowntree for a yellow card with five minutes to go, the visitors probably deserved the win that not only moved them two places up the table but also out of the relegation places in the bottom third of the league.

Otley's only other away win this season was by 17-14 on September 9 at Wharfedale, who are at Cross Green on Saturday (2pm).