A WAR of the Roses game between Otley and Preston Grasshopper served up a surprise with a no-score draw for only the second time in the history of the National leagues.

The first 0-0 draw occurred 29 years ago on November 17, 1990, in National Four South game between Maidenhead and North Walsham.

However, the scoreline of Otley match's at Cross Green on Saturday does not reflect what was a hammer and tongs game, in difficult conditions for both sides.

Otley had an opportunity in the first five minutes, Alex Beaumont going over in the corner but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.

The Yorkshiremen had most of the territory in the first quarter, and the Lancastrians were only able to get out of their half once.

The next quarter followed a similar path, Otley again coming close but were bundled into touch.

With progress slow over the heavy ground, both sides started kicking for territory.

The half ended with a five metre line-out after a penalty, although Otley knocked on in the line-out.

Otley returned Preston’s restart with interest, but the game reverted to type with neither side making the definitive move.

Otley had an opportunity when Preston knocked on in their dead ball area and had another five-metre scrum, but Otley gave away a penalty.

Preston played the final quarter with 14 men, a yellow card followed a tackle on Paul Petchey just outside the visitor’s 22.

The second yellow came after an intervention from the assistant referee, a penalty to Preston being overturned for foul play. The penalty went wide.

The game ended with Preston mounting a sustained attack on the Otley line, an initial drop goal was charged down and a second went wide of the posts. Given the territory and chances Otley had during the game it would have been an unfortunate ending had one of those kicks gone over, but it was a close-run game.

Otley travel to Huddersfield this Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Otley RUFC will then host the fourth annual Prince Henry’s Barbarians v Otley Invitational game at Cross Green on Boxing Day.