Otley 29 Manchester 18

By Oscar the Otter - April 6 2009
Otley 29 Manchester 18 This win over fellow strugglers Manchester lifted Otley above their visitors, albeit at the base of the league table. Having completed one double, another next week at Sedgley Park would move them even higher, but sadly not out of trouble due to the reorganisation which sends five teams down.

Match Report from the Telegraph & Argus:-

Having played well over the last couple of games, Otley continued in similar vein, their precise rugby securing two fine tries within six minutes of kick-off. Manchester struck back to cause a little concern in the home ranks and, although the hosts never conceded the lead, it was Dan Hyde’s try in added time which calmed the nerves.

Attacking from Manchester’s kick-off, Otley looked confident but a dropped pass allowed the visitors to clear to halfway. A quick throw-in gave Xavier Andre the chance to run through the middle before moving the ball out to Max Lewis, who put in a kick which bounced well down the touchline to put the defence in trouble, Manchester’s Matthew Owen getting an early visit to the sin-bin.

Securing a five-metre line-out, Otley made short work of scoring. A fine catch by Paul Williams, along with immaculate play from Lewis, set up the drive and Ben Steele wriggled over, fly half Adam Greendale converting.

Coming straight back from the drop-out, the hosts drove into the Manchester 22, where No 8 Mike McComish threw a long pass to winger Steve Parsons, who cut inside to force his way over, Greendale again converting.

Manchester re-grouped well and on their first attack got second row Paul Ralph over, fly half Thomas Eaton adding the extras.

Eight minutes later, they got perilously close to equalising, centre Patrick Leach scoring from a breakaway only for the conversion to pass wide.

Greendale added a penalty but, after the break, Eaton kicked one for Manchester.

However, Otley replied with a superb try, Williams sliding through in midfield before handing on for winger Peter Hackett to race round his opposite number before finding full back Alistair Monks on his inside to out-distance the cover, Greendale again converting.

Replacement fly half Andrew Taylor kicked a penalty to make the lead just six points with about ten minutes remaining, so skipper Hyde’s try was met with great relief.

MATCH STATISTICS

Otley 29

Tries: Steele, Parsons, Monks, Hyde

Cons: Greendale (3)

Pens: Greendale

Manchester 18

Tries: Ralph, Leach

Cons: Eaton

Pens: Eaton, Taylor

Click here for photos of the match courtesy of Paul Barrett

Click here for individual league records