Revitalised Otley cause Park strife

Revitalised Otley cause Park strife

Nazir Karim goes over for Otley’s try

Nazir Karim celebrates his try for Otley

Matt Stephens loses out in this line-out for Otley

First published in Sport by

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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