Otley 40, Blaydon 17

For the second week in succession Blaydon were up against fellow strugglers from just outside the drop zone in National League 2 North and yesterday’s outcome was just as disappointing as 7 days earlier.

Having matched the home side for much of the first half they lost inspirational skipper Keith Laughlin through injury just before the break and all momentum was gone. Otley dominated the second period whilst Blaydon got on the wrong side of the referee, losing two players to the sin-bin and had little more to show for their efforts.
Earlier they had started in fine style with a try in the 3rd minute, a brilliant solo score by Andy Miller. The scrum-half scooped up a loose ball 40 metres out and beat 2 men before chipping over the full-back to race through and touch down. Joe Whyman added the extras but Otley built up a ferocious attack to draw level when winger Mike Coady broke down the middle and leading points scorer Joe Rowntree secured the conversion.
Rowntree and Whyman then exchanged penalties before Otley second-row Brett Mitchell finished off another strong attack. Blaydon however got back into it, retaining possession through several phases for Harry Borthwick to burst into the 22 for an excellent score to level at 17-17.
But that was to be it for the visitors who went in at the interval 7 points adrift with Otley hooker Joe Graham having crossed just before the whistle.
Shortly after the restart Otley were awarded a penalty try but despite now having the lions share of territory and possession could only manage to land 3 more penalties, taking Rowntree’s personal tally to 18 points.

John Brennan