Otley won this thrilling encounter with one of the last moves of the game. It was a true local derby with plenty of support for both sides making themselves heard throughout the match.
Wharfedale allowed Otley to break into their 22 with the visitor`s first attack and then gave away a penalty for not releasing. Callum Irvine slotted the penalty.
Dale then started to play some good rugby and drove back Otley into their 22 with a well-placed grubber kick from Mann. Otley won their line-out and tried to run the ball out of defence. Gavin Stead was then tackled by Tom Mann who drove him back and Otley gave away a penalty in front of the posts. The Mann show carried on when he put the three points on the board.
Dale were now competing at a much higher level than they have in the last few weeks. Robbie Davidson had a cracking run down the right wing before the ball was spilled and Otley awarded a scrum. A scrum penalty followed and Otley cleared the ball up to half way. They won their line-out but strong tackling saw them spill the ball and Ryan Carlson hacked the ball deep into Otley`s 22. Again, they cleared the ball but Dale attacked from the line-out and won a penalty on Otley’s 10 metre line. Sam Gaudie took a quick tap penalty before the defence was ready and ran in under the posts from 40 metres.
Gavin Stead took over the kicking duties for Otley and landed a penalty before Mann added another to give Dale a 13-6 lead. From an attacking line-out Otley drove at Wharfedale’s line and Luke Cole was awarded a try. Stead’s conversion left the sides level at half-time.
Early in the second-half a break by Mann with support from Gaudie led to nought. Otley came close to scoring when Dale spilled the ball on half-way and Clark Wells seemed to be racing for the line. A last-ditch tackle by Mann saved the day. Another catch and drive led to another Otley converted try with Sam Hodge touching down. Wharfedale replied with a catch and drive of their own with Matt Speres being awarded the score. Mann’s conversion again tied the score.
Stead edged Otley in front from the tee with another three points.
A massive clearance from Tom Mann from his own touch line went into touch just outside Otley’s 22. Law 18 section 7 should have been observed as the Otley line-out was outside the 22. Left winger, Elliot Morgan, took a quick line-out to himself in Otley’s 22 and then hoofed the ball up to half way. Perhaps the officials need to do some revision.
Wharfedale won a penalty on Otley’s 10 metre line for what was probably the only moment of foul play in the whole game. The decision was made to go for the corner and Mann obliged finding touch 6 metres from the line.
Dale won the line-out and were steadily moving forward (as Otley had done in the first half); with the ref shouting “use it” twice, Gaudie slipped the ball to Ryan Hodgson to score. Mann converted from the touchline. Otley’s winning try came when they moved the ball right for Clark Wells to squeeze over for an unconverted try.
Only one winner on the scoreboard but all at the Avenue had enjoyed a superb game of rugby; played in good spirit with both sides playing committed rugby and willing to entertain.
Wharfedale Head Coach, Simon Verbickas, said after the game that he was “gutted for the players after a much-improved performance from last week. To take Otley all the way to nearly the last play of the game I’m devastated for the players that they couldn’t hold on for the win. After the work they have put in all week to come away 27-28 on the wrong side of the scoreboard is not a fair reward for the effort they put in. There are bits that we will work on, we have to keep the pressure on the opposition for the full 80 minutes When all said and done though it was a great game to watch at the Avenue”
All players in a green shirt put in performances worthy of the shirt. James Coulton made a welcome reappearance after his long injury and made his presence felt; it was good to have skipper George Hedgley on the field and he also made telling contributions. Sam Gaudie played a full 80 minutes and was always causing problems for Otley. Tom Mann had a brilliant all-round match – 100% with his kicking from the tee and also responsible for creating good field position plus some strong tackling. Ryan Carlson was another thorn in the side for Otley; disturbing their line-out routine and, with Matt Speres and Rob Baldwin, causing problems at the break-down.
Bullough; R. Davidson, Prell (Hodgson 66), Coulton, Canny; Mann, Gaudie; Beesley (Altham 33), Wright (Green 63), Dickinson, Carlson, Hedgley (c), Baldwin (Stockton 56), Speres, Burridge Replacement not used Macnab.
More fabulous photos from #TeamBurridge of Saturday’s 1st XV #Nat2N #YorkshireDerby against @otleyrugbyclub are available to view and download at https://www.flickr.com/photos/128183691@N04/albums/72177720304190877
Lower quality images can be found at https://www.facebook.com/media/set?set=oa.712630817104152