Otley 25 Harrogate 11
It’s 12 years since these clubs met at Cross Green but the derby atmosphere lingers on as Otley exacted revenge for the league defeat suffered at Claro Road in November.
A big crowd were treated to an extremely competitive match, with the hosts sealing a deserved win thanks to a last-minute try to go above their opponents.
A penalty under the posts was successfully taken by Harrogate’s Toby Quarendon in the first minute but an unfazed Otley settled into their attacking mode.
Their back row, with No 6 Toby Williams as ever breaking the gain line, set up the opportunities to get the home backs into action.
After misreading the wind from 40 metres, full back Christian Georgiou was given an easier effort under the posts and this triggered a spate of tries.
From the restart, the ball went to centre Michael Coady who, not for the only time, found a gap and set winger James Wood on a 50-metre dash for the corner.
Then lock Howard Parr powered through to hand on to fly half Tom Rock, who fired a long miss-pass to winger James Twomey. He rounded a brace of would-be tacklers on his 50-metre dash to the corner.
Otley’s forwards claimed a try on 25 minutes when No 8 Luke Watts was driven over.
Harrogate’s only answer was a second penalty from Quaredon just before the break but they managed to contain Otley on resumption.
A try from sub Ryan Peacey brought them to within seven points but a final flourish brought the crowd to its feet. Sub Oliver Richards gathered a loose ball from a scrum on halfway and galloped to the posts.
Georgiou converted and the four-try bonus point was added to the victory, also denying the visitors the bonus they were sitting on. That meant Otley went fifth-from-bottom, one place above Harrogate.