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Revitalised Otley cause Park strife
Otley 14 Sedgley Park 12
This was an excellent all-round performance as Otley recovered their early-season form to beat fourth-placed Sedgley Park.
Otley matched in every area a Park side that included Steve Collins, who has taken over as the league’s leading point-scorer in the absence of the injured Cross Greener Mark Ireland.
Both sides made use of the ideal under-foot conditions, with the big visiting forwards doing their best to hammer a way through.
The home defence was sound, the cover tackling exemplary and it was Otley who claimed the first score.
A penalty into the corner set up an attack which crabbed across the goal-line before the ball was shipped through the backs for Nazir Karim to take his tackler over the line as he touched down.
There was no let-up as the balance of play swayed until Park levelled on 22 minutes.
Opening up from a scrum on the home 22 and creating an overlap, Sedgley pressed before winger Andrew Riley went over, fly half Collins striking the upright with the conversion attempt.
With a following wind after the break, Otley began to secure territorial advantage and acting skipper Stephen Depledge confidently stepped up to take a penalty in front of the posts.
Six minutes later, he backed himself with another penalty on half-way.
Otley then had to pull out all the stops when they lost lock Matthew Stephens to the sin-bin but they survived and, on his return, Depledge landed a third penalty.
Now requiring two scores, the visitors had a frenzied last few minutes, scoring a converted try through sub winger Tahir El Mahar.
But they could add nothing more as Otley claimed victory.
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