First XV
Sat 06 Apr 2024  ·  National League 2 North
Tries: E Barber, H Whitfield (2), P HarrisonConversions: E Barber (3)Yellow Carded: A Rollins
Otley Rugby Club
First XV
Tries: J Sarsfield, J Holmes (2), L MartinConversions: E Crossland (3)Yellow Carded: T Baxter, R Gaffney
Otley see Huddersfield relegated in close encounter

Otley see Huddersfield relegated in close encounter

Nick Doyle8 Apr - 16:17
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On a warm but windy afternoon, both sides had to settle for a third draw between the two clubs

The visitors kicked off towards the viaduct and Storm Kathleen, and following a penalty Huddersfield where soon in Otley’s 22. The home side retained possession and forced penalties to negate them knocking the ball forward in a couple of occasions. Opting for tap and goes, their forwards tried to score under the posts but having been rebuffed, swung the ball right from where Ed Barber crashed over from short range after six minutes for a try which he converted.

In Otley’s first attack of the game, they made steady progress up the pitch and when a grubber kick was picked up in the dead ball area by a Laikers’ player, the Cross Greeners came back for a penalty in the opposition 22. Also opting for a tap and go, Eddie Crossland got the game going again and he nearly got over the line. Nick Fontaine recycled the ball and had a go himself but was stopped upright allowing him to get the ball back to league debutant Josh Sarsfield who neatly avoided a tackle to score. Crossland’s conversion levelled the scores.

The remainder of the quarter was played in the Otley half, and from a tap and go in front of the posts, Huddersfield moved the ball left before centre Harry Whitfield came in on the angle brushing off two tackles to score. Barber added the extras.

With seven minutes to go Otley evened things up. A wide pass had given Huddersfield a line-out deep in their 22. As they tried to clear, Otley held up the defender getting them a scrum. An initial attack broke down, but coming back for another infringement they were able to send the ball wide for Jacob Holmes to dive over.

It was pretty evenly matched until Barber’s penalty attempt from half way drifted wide brought the half to an end with the scores at 14-14.

With the wind now behind them, Crossland’s kick was touched before going out giving Otley a line-out just outside the opposition 22. After a couple of Huddersfield penalties Otley were able to maintain the pressure, with Louis Martin scoring in the corner putting the visitors into the lead for the first time on 45 minutes. Crossland’s touch-line kick sailed through the posts.

Five minutes later Huddersfield were back on level terms after Whitfield bulldozed his way through the Otley defence to score in the corner from five metres out. Barber’s kick defied Kathleen to go through. Huddersfield maintained the pressure and with Otley down to 14, Lewis Quinn nearly made it over with replacement scrum-half Paul Harrison getting the honours. This time Kathleen wasn’t so kind.

Otley went down to 13 to prevent Huddersfield scoring again, Michael Graham tackling winger Archie Stancliffe into touch just before the line. Otley forced their way upfield with the home side conceding penalties as they retreated, seeing that period through getting back to full strength as they went. Huddersfield went down to 14 at a scrum, some 15 metres out. Opting for a tap-and go, Otley’s first assault on the line was on the left but was just short – the ball was then spun out right with a long pass for Jacob Homes to get his second. Unfortunately, the conversion hit the upright denying Otley a second lead.

With five minutes left, the game petered out in Huddersfield’s half with both sides having knocked-on with and neither side having any realistic chances of scoring again.

Match details

Match date

Sat 06 Apr 2024




National League 2 North

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