Old Otliensians 24 Castleford 33
Otliensians’ hopes of adding the Yorkshire Silver Trophy to the Yorkshire Division Four title they had already won were shattered in Saturday’s semi-final at Chaffers Field.
The home side got off to a good start when full back Ben Hatton dropped a goal after just five minutes.
Cas levelled the scores with a penalty three minutes later and then scored a converted try through their powerful pack to take a 10-3 lead.
Otliensians suffered two further setbacks when Ben Hatton had to leave the field after being flattened by a late tackle, then centre Luke Freer had to go off with a hamstring problem.
The hosts continued to play some enterprising rugby and Castleford conceded three penalties which were all converted by centre Luke Cowdell to give Otliensians a 12-10 lead.
The advantage was short lived. The visitors scoring a try just before the break to go 15-12 up.
The re-organised Otliensians back line defended resolutely as Cas launched a series of attacks with centre Nathan Rogers putting in some telling tackles.
Unfortuately, stand-in centre Lee O’Donnell suffered a back injury and had to leave the action.
A converted try and a penalty saw Cas stretch their lead.
The home backs then put together some good phases of play and skipper Rogers dodged through several defenders to go over halfway out.
The conversion narrowed the gap to 25-19 with 20 minutes to play.
The home side had the momentum and closed to within a point when flanker Sam Featherstone scored a try after good driving by Rob Arbuckle, Greg Jones and Tony Myers.
Castleford stepped up the pace and their pressure produced a penalty and a try to secure their place in the final against Goole at Knottingley on Sunday.
Otliensians should be encour-aged by their performance against a side who finished fourth in Yorkshire Division Three – the league they will be playing in next season.
Last night Old Otliensians were bidding to retain the Aire-Wharfe Cup. They were facing West Park A after seeing off the challenge of Aireborough 36-21 in last week’s semi-final.
Ben Hatton scored 16 of his side’s points running in two tries and kicking three conversions.
Rob Lofthouse, Callum Doherty, Luke Cowdell and Luke Freer added further tries for Otliensians.