After suffering a barrage which had them 24-3 down by the 30th minute, under the urging of captain for the day Howard Parr, playing his last home game before returning to duty in Afganistan, they rallied to get within a couple of points.
Facing a strong, well-organised pack, Otley stood up well but had difficulty satisfying the referee in the scrummage and suffered accordingly.
They were constantly forced back by penalties which gave Cambridge their opportunity. Tries came from close quarters through lock Ian Ashcroft-Leigh, converted by scrum-half Ben Spencer, No 6 Ben Hunter and prop Ben Cooper. Then, attacking from their 22, a kick from winger James Twomey bounced badly and was gathered by winger Jaco Du Toit, who found a way through for Spencer to convert.
Otley redressed the balance with Twomey going over blind-side and full-back Christian Georgiou being on hand to finish off a break from Hough, who converted both.
But Otley suffered a setback after half-time, allowing in Du Toit for a second converted try for Cambridge. Sticking to their task, however, Twomey gathered a chip ahead from fly-half Jervis Manupenu to race in, Hough converting before Dominic Barrow went in at the corner, the conversion going wide, to leave Otley staring at relegation.
Width of a post denies Wharfedale ahead of crunch relegation encounter with Park
WHARFEDALE displayed the qualities which should save them from the drop even though they had to settle for just two bonus points at Rectory Field.
As in the previous week’s match, it was failure with shots at goal that cost the Dalesmen the win that their overall ascendancy warranted.
Neither stand-off Tom Barrett nor full-back Tom Davidson could find the necessary accuracy, with the sole success being Davidson’s conversion of Barrett’s slick 63rd-minute try, between the posts, which edged the visitors ahead for the second time at 17-16.
Blackheath were first on the board through centre Paul Humphrey’s penalty. Fierce forward pressure then pinned the home side to their line, and after seven successive scrums and a yellow card, the Greens broke through – the ball whipped out to winger Simon Horsfall for a try.
Dan Solomi crossed as the Greens continued to press, but Humphrey’s second penalty late cut the interval advantage to 10-6.
Humphrey’s try put the hosts ahead before the Greens knocked on inches short of the line and Blackheath swept upfield to score through lock Tom Bason.
Barrett’s converted try reclaimed the lead before home centre Richard Lankshear’s touched down, Humphrey converting.
Wharfedale pounded the Blackheath defence and when Solomi notched his 11th try of the season victory beckoned only for Davidson’s pressure kick hit a post.
Wharfedale moved above Blaydon and Sedgley Park, whom they entertain tomorrow.