Plymouth 23 Otley 15

By Oscar the Otter - January 29 2009
Plymouth 23 Otley 15 A much-improved display by Otley had a big crowd at Plymouth on the edge of their nerves in this National League One encounter. Otley rallied from a 20-3 half-time deficit to get within five points, but sadly the hosts just managed to hold on to their lead.

Taken from the Telegraph & Argus

Otley suffered an early blip when young England U-20s fly half Adam Greendale was injured in the first few minutes but happily Ian Shuttleworth was on hand to move up with Peter Wackett taking his place at full back and that was, unusually, their only substitution of the game.

Referee Hall had a busy day, handing out yellow cards - three to Otley and two to Albion, three for professional fouls and two for centre Luther Burrell and home No 8 Stephen Sean-Michael having a set-to.

Albion opened the scoring on 13 minutes when their Canadian internationals combined, centre Justin Mensah-Coker making the opening for Sean-Michael to go over, fly half Alex Davies converting and ten minutes later adding a penalty.

Coming through the early onslaught, Otley began to threaten and Shuttleworth made sure with his first penalty chance but Plymouth came back at them in the late stages when Dan Hyde was sin-binned.

The penalty led to a close-in line-out where scrum half Greg Nicholls followed the drive to claim the try, Davies converting and right on 40 minutes adding a penalty.

Otley’s reaction was very positive and four minutes into the second half, second row Tom Denton scattered the defence on a bullocking 30 metre run which took him over the line. Shuttleworth converted and when, after 58 minutes, Ryan Wederell grounded as the forwards drove over, the home supporters, officially numbered at 3,799, were contemplating defeat.

But Albion gathered their defence to deny the Cross Green boys a second away win, and when Denton was sin-binned in the final minute Davies filched their bonus point by striking the penalty.

Otley were disappointing to come away with nothing but their supporters can be heartened by the team’s excellent approach and much improved standard of play.

Plymouth: Tom Jarvis (Geoff Griffiths 69), Liam Gibson, Matt Hopper, Ross Allan, Justin Mensah-Coker (Ross Laidlaw 75), Alex Davies, Greg Nicholls, Callum Black (Jane du Toit 59, Callum Black, blood, 62-65), James Owen (Graham Dawe 80), Ryan Hopkins, Mike Lewis, Arthur Brenton (capt), Wayne Sprangle, Danny Thomas (Rory Watts-Jones 62), Sean-Michael Stephen. Reps (not used): Matt Newman, Colin Stewart

Otley: Ian Shuttleworth, Steve Parsons, Luther Burrell, Kyle Dench, Xavier Andre, Adam Greendale (Peter Wackett 9), Andy Brown, Ryan Wederell, Will Kay (Ben Steele 70), Kris Fullman, James Craig, Tom Denton, Max Lewis, Jacob Rowan, Dan Hyde (capt). Reps (not used): Phil Swainston, Howard Parr, Paul Williams, Jon Buchanan, Danny Smith.

Referee: Terry Hall (RFU)

MATCH STATISTICS

Plymouth Albion 23

Tries: Stephen, Nicholls

Cons: Davies (2)

Pens: Davies (2)

Otley 15

Tries: Denton, Wederell

Cons: Shuttleworth

Pens: Shuttleworth

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