Injury-plagued Bees never stood a chance against Otley

Wharfedale Observer: Mark Gemmell crosses for Otley Buy this photo » Mark Gemmell crosses for Otley

Bradford & Bingley 7 Otley 56 

Once the make-up of both sides for this Granville Clark Memorial Trophy match was known, the result was an inevitability.

Otley, in need of a confidence-boosting victory after eight defeats in nine SSE National League Two North matches, fielded nine of the 20 that were named for the derby defeat the previous weekend at home to Harrogate.

Bradford & Bingley, who have lost five of their last six matches in SSE National League Three North, were crippled by injuries and only named Henry Paul, Richard Scull, Dan Cookson and Chris Fisher of those who were in the 18 for their last league match at home to Morley a fortnight previously.

But both sides will have benefited from this run-out at Wagon Lane, with Otley’s director of rugby James Tiffany saying: “It gave us a bit of confidence and continuity and gave us a chance to keep our fitness levels up.

“It also gave some of the second-team lads an opportunity and it is important to keep up the tradition of this memorial fixture.”

Bradford & Bingley scrum half Richard Scull, who is working his way back to fitness after the best part of a year away Down Under, also appreciated the run-out, saying: “Playing against better players is always good and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It also helped my fitness.”

Otley’s tries came from wingers Alex Beaumont (2) and Nazir Karim (2), scrum half Mark Gemmell, hooker Henry Watson, No 8 Simon Raper, prop Mark Chivers, full back Arnie Ellison and centre Chris Gemmell, fly half Alex Rhodes converting three.

But the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Bees centre Dan Cookson’s 64th-minute try on a day when director of rugby Paul will have been proud of his team’s efforts, Scull adding the conversion.

That would have only have been trumped by the decibel levels if veteran prop Paul McCumiskey had planted the ball down but he was held up over the line three minutes before Cookson scored.

Both teams have crucial league matches next Saturday away to their division’s bottom clubs - fifth-from-bottom Otley at Dudley Kingswinford and second-from-bottom Bradford & Bingley at Penrith.


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