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Collins' late penalty gives 14-man Otley crucial victory
Otley 13, Westoe 12
There was, surprisingly, only one try in this SSE National League Two North contest yesterday, Westoe managing to contain Otley’s constant attacks.
But in doing so they had no time to mount any significant advances into home territory and were forced to resort to using their strong point - the rolling maul from distance.
Otley's player-coach Tom Rock was adamant that they had to win this game and his players responded admirably, forcing the visitors to concede a penalty from the kick-off which full back Ben Collins duly knocked over.
As the pressure mounted, Westoe lost No 6 Robert Adair to the sin bin but to their credit, Otley failed to prosper in his absence.
A well-executed rolling maul gained Westoe a penalty which set them up on the home line but Otley secured a turnover to clear.
But they were back for a second time on 34 minutes looking far more dangerous only for James Twomey to make a smart interception and race the length of the field to go in at the posts, Collins adding the conversion.
Then came a misfortune for the ubiquitous Tom O’Donnell.
No doubt aware of the topic of the moment, referee Craig Maxwell-Keys gave the No 7 a red card when one of the visitors was spun over, mainly by his own approach, and Otley were left to face a second half one man short.
They stuck to their plan and continued their attacking play but were forced into errors, conceding penalties on their 22 to allow full back Simon O’Farrell to chip away at regular intervals into their lead.
A fourth one on 77 minutes convinced his team-mates that the one-point lead would be sufficient but Otley had other ideas and tore into the opposition from the restart to gain a penalty almost 40 metres out.
With a stiff crosswind, this was no gimme but Collins was up to the job and four points were in the bag.