Preston Grasshoppers 26 – 41 Otley
On a clear day with little breeze, and both sides needing a win, Otley kicked off. Preston won a penalty, but failed to collect the points. Resulting from a breakout by Ally Murray, winger Tyler Spence sprinted from out wide for an unconverted try.
After recycling the ball, and from a lineout throw that didn’t look straight, another try to Preston, courtesy of hooker Jack Wilkinson, this time converted.
Otley then played through the phases well, and despite strong Preston defence, Otley scored from a penalty kick.
Half Time: Hoppers 12-3 Otley.
In the second half, Otley continued to recycle the ball well and started to dominate, although the Preston scrum seemed to achieve something like parity.
Otley’s skill at the breakdown started to show, with tries coming by no. 8 Jackson Christopher, and their dangerous winger was allowed to run freely, with a hat trick.
Hooker Leon Mudd also wanted in on the scoring. Otley 10 Crossland managed two penalties, and Otley’s remaining points were from his conversions.
Hoppers staged something of a comeback in the third quarter, with further tries by Ally Murray and Alex Ward, who also took 3 conversions.
Too little, too late summed up Preston’s day, Otley’s supporters were in good voice throughout, and gave their side a good lift, and although at one point it looked as though Preston may be able to salvage things, it wasn’t to be.
Otley’s five League points were thoroughly deserved, and Preston did well to salvage a single bonus point.
Final score: Hoppers 26-41 Otley.
Report by Joe Freeman, pictures by Mike Craig