Defiant Otley overcome O’Donnell dismissal as Collins strikes a late penalty for victory

National Two North

The spirit Otley have shown of late saw them through to a fine victory over third-placed Westoe despite being reduced to 14 men on 40 minutes when industrious No 7 Tom O’Donnell was red-carded for what appeared to be an accidental tip tackle.

By this time, they had established a 10-0 lead, full-back Ben Collins leading off with a long-range penalty in the first minute.

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Westoe’s main threat came from a rolling maul which they used to good effect but they were rarely allowed out of their own half as Otley launched endless attacks.

They went close only to suffer a turnover before, on 34 minutes, James Twomey swooped to intercept a pass near his line and no-one could get near the winger as he touched down for Collins to convert.

Prospects looked bleak after the red card but, under the calming influence of Howard Parr, Otley never took a backward step, despite seeing their lead steadily eroded as full-back Simon O’Farrell kicked penalties in 10-minute intervals, his fourth, on 77 minutes putting Westoe into the lead.

But Otley racted positively. A determined follow up of the re-start caused the visitors to concede a penalty 40 metres out and the strong cross-wind proved no obstacle to Collins.

Nuneaton 3 Hull 15

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Hull coach Dan Cook paid tribute to the squad strength that paved the way for a hard-fought victory.

As the game entered its last quarter, Hull were able to bolster their effort by bringing on all their replacements, every one of whom made an impact.

The first half saw Hull play with the elements but they never really threatened a well-marshalled and committed defence .

Hull opted for their favourite catch and drive ploy from a couple of kickable penalties but when the score failed to materialise they took the chance to take the lead via the boot of James Cameron on 23 minutes.

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This remained the score at half-time and as Nuneaton now had the wind to assist them, it seemed that Hull would have a hard time maintaining their lead.

The second half began as if to emphasise their task when home scrum-half Palmer slotted an easy penalty in the opening seconds.

Nuneaton then proceeded to press the Hull line and just when it seemed they must score, Phil Murphy appeared in the centre to intercept a pass and send Slingsby on an 80-yard run to score between the posts, giving Cameron an easy conversion.

Nuneaton were by no means finished but, as the substitutions began, Hull’s pack, bolstered by the arrival of Plevey and Dutton in the front row, Lewis in the second row and brothers Dan and Matt White at scrum-half and wing, Hull took an ever tighter grip on the game.

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Nuneaton were hampered by changes to their pack and their scrum all but disintegrated under intense Hull pressure.

It came as no surprise when Hull scored the decisive try thanks to quick handling after a good ruck, Cameron being on hand to touch down in the corner. His missed conversion was of no consequence.

Huddersfield 10 Bromsgrove 16

HUDDERSFIELD suffered only their second home defeat of the season.

They had won their last six Lockwood Park games, dating back to October but Bromsgrove had beaten them 33-20 on their own turf earlier in the campaign but were on a run of nine games without an away win.

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The visitors had the better start with a penalty from centre Jon Critchlow followed by a try by forward Aaron Higgins. At 8-0 down, Huddersfield started to improve their game and a series of close-range attacks eventually saw fly-half Chris Johnson side-step his man to score, adding the conversion to bring it back to 8-7.

However, just before the interval Huddersfield were caught out when Bromsgrove put together a well-worked move down the right for Critchlow to score in the corner, giving the visitors a six-point lead at half-time.

Critchlow added three points to his side’s score, only for Johnson to cancel them out to leave it at 16-10 with 12 minutes remaining.

In the latter stages Huddersfield were camped in the opposition 22 and were awarded four consecutive penalties for pulling down the maul.

Two Bromsgrove players received yellow cards but the visitors claimed an unlikely win.