A LATE rally saw Otley go down to a 31-21 defeat at promotion-seeking Hull Ionians on Saturday.

Otley put in another full-blooded performance against a side determined to return to National One North at the first opporunity, but were overcome in the last ten minutes.

Having weathered Ionians’ first attack, Otley got off to the perfect start after three minutes.

Alex Beaumont took a pass around his ankles just inside the opposition’s half and sliced his way to the line. Ben Smith adding the first of three conversions to make it 7-0.

For the next ten minutes, Ionians tried to find a way through Otley’s defence, and at one point were held up over the line.

Then having tried in one corner, the home side moved the ball across the pitch, and Ben Stephenson finished off a catch and drive.

Otley’s response was immediate, as Jason Moss lead the charge twice making ground on each occasion, and Adam Malthouse went over.

However, the lead was short-lived when Adam Thomas found an uncharacteristic hole in visitor’s defence, going over from some 20 metres.

At the end of the half, Otley encamped themselves in Ionians’ left-hand corner. There followed six five metre scrums, the visitors electing to take these in preference to a three-point penalty.

Will Burns came close to scoring, but having moved the ball wide and back into the centre, Malthouse used his power to force his way through under the posts.

Hull Ionians started the second half behind, but drew level after 47 minutes when Sam Wilson went over.

Otley continued to play their part in the game, and came close just before the hour mark when a long-range penalty just shaved the wrong side of the right-hand post.

As Ionians emptied their bench, they got two penalties that put them into the right-hand corner, and Ben Carlile went over from another catch and drive after 70 minutes. Otley continued to battle, but gave away a penalty with two minutes to go, which Lewis Minikin converted.

This put the game beyond Otley, and was a cruel end as they deserved to come away with something for their performance.