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Opportunity lost for Otley
Birmingham & Solihull 24, Otley 21
Otley returned home disappointed that their late rally had failed in this SSE National League Two North match.
They conceded a penalty at a five-metre scrum in the final minute when just three points in arrears, the ball immediately being kicked deep into touch.
It had been a fluctuating if not pretty game, each side having their periods of ascendancy with Otley making the first showing, a 25-metre dart from Dan Temm just being foiled on the line.
After a penalty conceded at the scrum, the visitors were straight back to give Mark Ireland a simple kick under the posts.
Home fly half Adam Canning set his credentials with a 42-metre penalty, only for Ireland to reply with two more on 18 and 22 minutes.
Then, when looking to take over, Otley allowed Birmingham back into the game.
A strong drive from a line-out on the 22 ended with lock Matthew Spink crashing over, quickly followed by No 8 Robert Connolly, both being converted by Canning to secure a 17-9 half-time lead for Birmingham & Solihull.
Once again Otley started the second period well, with quick ball giving winger James Wood a rare chance and he made it into the home 22 where, from a scrum, Ireland went in and added the conversion.
Steven Costello’s consistency was rewarded when he scored on 64 minutes to regain the lead, and the game was going Otley’s way, but hooker William Radburn was then driven over, Canning converting to put the Midlanders ahead.
Though Otley tried hard in the final minutes, they made too many mistakes and had to be satisfied with just a single point.
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