First XV
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  National League 2 North
Tries: A Crapper, E Fisher, B WhitneyConversions: E Fisher (3)Yellow Carded: J Flint, D Parsons
Otley Rugby Club
First XV
Tries: L Martin (2)Conversions: G SteadPenalties: G Stead
Sheffield blunts Otley's late rally

Sheffield blunts Otley's late rally

Nick Doyle25 Mar - 15:33
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As the match was coming to an end Otley came close to getting their second league win against Sheffield at Abbeydale, but a resolute home defence thwarted their ambitions.

Having gathered the kick-off, Otley had a spell in Sheffield’s half before the home side broke down the left-hand side the ball being knocked on by the attackers metres from the line. Attempting to move the ball away from the scrum, Otley lost possession giving Sheffield a scrum from where they were able to get Archie Crapper over with Elliott Fisher converting.

Otley put up their defensive line just inside their half making it difficult for Sheffield to make any progress, Billy Nicholls catching a loose pass from where Otley made strides into the opposition half. Play remained in the hosts’ half until hooker Rhodri Campbell pounced on a loose pass on his ten metre line before passing to Fisher who ran the remaining metres to score under the posts and converting his own try.

A diagonal penalty kick on Otley’s 22 gave them a line-out on Sheffield’s 22. They got another penalty on the 22 and opting for a tap and go, Otley started to make progress towards the line with Louis Martin shrugging off a string of tackles on his way to the line. The wind dislodged the ball just as the conversion kick was attempted, leaving the score at 14-5 after 21 minutes.

The last fifteen minutes of the half were virtually spent in the Sheffield half, Otley being held up over the line and a penalty attempt from the 10-metre line went wide. Towards the end of the half, James Flint took a yellow card as the number of Sheffield penalties had stacked up. The half ended with Campbell being tackled into touch just inside Otley’s half.

Otley kicked off towards the clubhouse and, having collected a clearance kick, made it over the line close to the posts but were again held up. Two infringements by Sheffield kept them under the cosh, the second seeing Gavin Stead kick a penalty 22 metres out four minutes into the half. Shortly afterwards another penalty attempt from further out went wide.

The visitors were caught offside in Sheffield’s half and from a line out on Otley’s 10 metre line, Sheffield launched an attack with Ben Whitney going over on the hour, Fisher adding the conversion. Now looking for the bonus point try, Sheffield continued to press the Otley line but couldn’t find a way through.

Otley finally got possession back just inside their half, Leon Mudd, Eddie Crossland and Ben Dinsdale combining to get the ball to the opposition 22, Ben Waddington kicking the ball through and as Sheffield defenders tried to get control again, Martin slipped through to score his second. Stead added the conversion with six minutes left.

With six points between the two sides and the possibility of grabbing a late winner, Otley got a penalty scrum in their half – Crossland kicking into the 22 on the left. Rory Gaffney quickly got the game going again after Sheffield were again penalised at the scrum, the ball going right where Sheffield went offside. Play continued but Otley came back for the penalty after they were bundled into touch. After a quick tap and go and assault on the line, Otley lost possession in front of the posts but regained it at the scrum when Sheffield were again penalised. Opting for a scrum, the ball went right and Dom Parsons got a yellow for not rolling. In the 85th minute a long forward pass to Michael Graham prevented Otley from scoring, but the game came back to the earlier scrum as Sheffield had again infringed. With yet another penalty advantage in the bag, Otley threw everything at Sheffield in a 12 phase move, battering them as hard as they could. With Parsons back on and his team on a final warning, in the next Otley assault Sheffield were able to get hold of the ball at the breakdown in front of the posts, bringing the game to an end.

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Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




National League 2 North

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