Chairman confident that Otley can win their relegation battle

Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence

First published in Sport by

Otley Rugby Union Football Club's long-serving official Marc Lawrence says their relegation battle is “not insurmountable”.

Their last-ditch 13-12 victory over Westoe at the weekend lifted them out of the third and final demotion place in SSE National League Two North – but only by a point.

Lawrence, who is interim club committee chairman after the resignations of club chairman Paul Carter and rugby chairman Gary Walker last month, is concentrating particularly on matches at Cross Green in Otley’s bid for survival.

There are eight matches to go, and 55-year-old Lawrence, who is also club secretary, said: “We need to win our three home games – against Harrogate (March 10), Nuneaton (March 31) and Stockport (April 21) – and then try and pick up the odd win or bonus point on the road.”

Harrogate are currently four points and two places below Otley, although they have a game in hand, while Nuneaton have played a game more than the Cross Greeners but are only two points and two places better off. Otley are obviously hoping that they will be safe before they face Stockport in their last home game.

Away matches for director of rugby Tom Rock's side include only one against the current bottom six - Hull Ionians on April 28, the last day of the regular season, but the rest of their travels are against sides who are no higher than fifth.

They are at Bromsgrove (eighth) on Saturday, Sheffield Tigers (tenth) on March 3, Luctonians (fifth) on March 24, Preston Grasshoppers (sixth) on April 14 and Ionians (12th) on April 28.

The good thing about that is that, in the majority of cases, Otley should be up against sides who have nothing to play for other than pride, and Lawrence added: “We wanted the victory more than Westoe did last Saturday.”

The Otley chief said he wasn’t aware of any fresh investment in the club and added: “I don't know how long I will be in charge for, but I am solely focusing on keeping Otley up."

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