HUDDERSFIELD haven’t won at Otley since the 2011-12 season.

That is a run of five victories and two draws at Cross Green, but there was a real possibility of the visitors upsetting the apple cart in their latest National League Two North clash.

Rock-bottom Huddersfield, stymied by the loss of income from their gym and rising utility bills, had only won one of their 10 matches this season, but, thanks to a converted try just before the interval, only trailed by three points at half-time.

Centre Eddie Crossland, in only his second game as Otley captain, having replaced Adam Malthouse, who has a persistent back injury, said: “I would give us seven out of ten for that performance.

“We can always do better, but we got five points from the match, although I was worried when it was 24-21 at half-time.”

First-half tries came from flankers Ben Waddington and Sam Hodge, man-of-the-match, hooker Ryan Gibson, and winger Sam Taylor, with Gavin Stead adding two conversions.

However, they were almost cancelled out by tries from No 8 Liam Parfitt, centre George Collins and former Cleckheaton player-coach Thiu Barnard, with fly half Simon Wilson landing three conversions for Huddersfield.

Worry not for the Cross Greeners though as they added tries by winger Louis Martin, replacement winger Will Martindale on debut and Taylor, with Stead adding three conversions and a penalty to triumph 48-28, Huddersfield only replying three minutes from time with a try by flanker Luke Pearson, converted by Wilson.

Crossland: “We are just trying to gel and the unity within the team was a positive, although we do get on each other’s backs sometimes.

“Our ambition is to finish in the top half of the table.”

The bonus-point win lifted Otley two places to eighth, above Preston Grasshoppers and Hull, one below halfway, ahead of another huge clash next Saturday at home to fifth-placed Wharfedale.

The Green Machine defeated Otley 31-7 at The Avenue in October, but Otley won both clashes last season with the last plays of the games - 28-27 at Threshfield in December 2022 and 25-24 at Cross Green on April Fool’s Day.