National League Two North: Hinckley 13 Otley 15

A TRY in each half by Tom O'Donnell maintained Otley’s impressive return to form and dealt a significant blow to Hinckley’s promotion hopes.

Otley's director of rugby Peter Clegg said “In recent months, the Otley squad have concentrated on what happens on the pitch, ignoring events elsewhere.

"They have worked really hard and have now notched up seven wins out of their last 11 games."

While acknowledging that Otley are in still in a relegation battle, Clegg added: “We need a couple more wins but playing the type of rugby we are at the moment, we will be playing League Two rugby next season."

Hinckley scored within two minutes when Callum Dacey went over, but it became apparent that the form Otley had showed against Sale FC last month was going to continue.

In the first four scrums, Otley were awarded three penalties against Hinckley’s normally dominant pack, and a fourth penalty came shortly after the third.

Following a sighter at the posts, after eight minutes Joe Rowntree was able to reduce the deficit with one of those penalties.

Otley were showing great attacking endeavour, but were playing against a strong defence.

When the Hornets did attack, Otley’s response was stonewall, with players working as a team.

With five first-half minutes to go, Hinckley almost scored, but Otley’s defence forced a knock on.

Then, with two minutes to go, O’Donnell forced his way over after a line-out in the right-hand corner to give the visitors a well-deserved lead.

A Joe Wilson penalty brought both sides level five minutes into the second half, and for the next quarter both sides gave little away.

Substitute Mike Coady’s run down the right flank just into the 22 saw him taken into touch, but the Hornets line-out wasn’t straight.

From the restart, Otley’s maul took them to them to the line, where they regrouped.

O’Donnell peeled off to the right to score, with Rowntree’s conversion being vital.

For the remainder of the match, it was nip and tuck.

Oli Goss’s grubber kick in Hinckley’s 22 was a tad hard and the chance was missed.

Hinckley reduced the deficit with two minutes to go with their own rolling maul.

But from the restart, Hinckley knocked on and gave the initiative back to the visitors.

Otley then protected the ball magnificently until Nick Coupland ended the game by kicking the ball over the clubhouse!