Otley lower Stourbridge colours as Ionians keep promotion hopes alive

A tremendous team performance saw Otley lower the colours of high-flying Stourbridge in a 13-12 win.

Stourbridge have flourished on the back of a big pack and strong running backs only to find themselves out-played in all departments except the scrimmage. They rarely threatened Otley’s line but with penalties coming every other minute, fly-half Coalan Ryan kept them in the game with his kicking and, after taking the lead on 63 minutes had to watch Chris Gemmell nervelessly step up to kick the winner just before the finish.

It was all Otley from the start but they fell six points in arrears thanks to Ryan and despite threatening it was the 39th minute before they drove over from a five-metre lineout, Tom O’Donnell grounding and Gemmell converting.

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Otley’s impressive scalp was played out in front of the division’s largest attendance of the day.

Trailing at half-time, Hull Ionians battled back to salvage a 20-15 victory at Stockport and keep their promotion hopes on track.

The home side opened up a 15-3 lead at the break with tries through No 8 Nick Smith and winger Mike Kaciubskyj, while centre Michael Barlow kicked a conversion and Alex Zavallis-Roebuck added a penalty.

Ionians’ only first-half points came from the boot of stand-off Chris Reakes, but they soon turned the game around.

Full-back Michael Bateman touched down on 50 minutes, Reakes adding the extras, and scrum-half Adam Thomas scored Hull’s second on 65 minutes, Reakes converting and adding a penalty with 10 minutes left.

Sheffield Tigers lost 27-15 at Bromsgrove.

Bromsgrove took an early lead with a try by Ollie Bache, converted by Jon Critchlow, before Tigers pulled back a penalty by Tom Outram. The home side turned round 17-3 ahead, flanker David Hughes scoring a try and Bache touching down for his second.

Critchlow added a penalty and converted a try by scrum-half Dave Brazier to put Bromsgrove 27-3 up before Tigers came back with late tries by Samir Tahraoui and Jamie Broadley, the latter converted by Outram.

Hull suffered their second league defeat of the season by Birmingham Solihull, going down 28-24 on their own ground.

Hull had gone 14-6 ahead at half-time through a try by No 8 Ollie Cook and three penalties by stand-off Greg Lound to two penalties by Jack Jolly for the Bees. Hull increased their lead with a try by Jamie Barnard, converted by Lound, but they suffered a setback when sPhil Murphy went off injured and, within seconds, Dan White and Ben Dorrington were both yellow carded. The Bees took full advantage and made the 13 men pay.

Huddersfield conceded seven tries in losing 47-6 at home to Preston Grasshoppers. The defeat was their fifth in succession and their relegation rivals each picked up losing bonus points. Luke Booth kicked Huddersfield’s only points.