Cup duty for some Otley squad members

Wharfedale Observer: Curtis Wilson Curtis Wilson

The majority of Otley’s first-team squad will have Saturday off. However, some of them will be involved in their Centurion Yorkshire Cup first-round tie at Midd-lesbrough (3.00).

Otley’s player-coach Tom Rock confirmed: “Some first-teamers will be involved but it will also give a chance to some of the lads who have been doing well in the second team.

“Lads such as Curtis Wilson and Ollie Richards could also do with a game, and indeed some need to justify their place in the side, but it is also a game that we want to win as the winners will be facing Wharfedale.”

Otley gained a vital five-point SSE National League Two North victory at home to Harrogate last Saturday, but Rock admitted: “We shouldn’t have left it so late to get the bonus point.”

It was only in the last minute that Richards scored the fourth try, and Rock said: “It was a good crowd and a good atmosphere but we lost our focus a bit in the middle third.” Otley only showed one change from the previous week, with experienced lock Howard Parr coming in.

Rock, always conscious of how derbies can go, said: “It could have degenerated into cheap shots galore but both sides wanted to play rugby.

“We played some great rugby and scored some nice tries but we also gave penalties away, which is inevitable when both sides are contesting the breakdown so fiercely.”

The 25-11 victory lifted Otley two places up the table, and Rock added “We are out of the relegation places, and it would be nice if both ourselves and Harrogate could stay up but we are under no illusions about how tight it is near the bottom.”

Kendal are seemingly cast adrift on 31 points but the next four clubs are separated by only four points, with Nuneaton on 42, Leicester Lions on 43, Harrogate on 44 and Otley on 45.

It means that otley cannot afford any slip ups if they are to escape the drop.

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