OTLEY beat Sedgley Park 28-26 after a string of eight consecutive defeats against their Lancashire rivals, in a pulsating match that went to the wire.

Tries from Paul Petchey, Harry Skelton, Joe Graham and Joe Rowntree were enough to see off the Tigers challenge in this thrilling National League Two North encounter.

Charlie Maunder, Otley’s director of rugby, was naturally delighted with the result in what he saw was an impressive display, hailing the effort on the training ground by his troops.

He said: “This win is a testament to the work that Tom Casson and Joe Graham have been doing on the training pitch.

“Both sides had a lot of ball possession and we defended very well.

“We played with a lot of control and composure, and players stepped up at crucial times. It was a cracking game for the neutral.”

The Tigers started the game kicking long and were soon pressurising Otley’s line, but were eventually penalised for holding on, and Otley were able to clear their lines.

After two scrums, the second after a forward pass, Otley moved the ball right with some slick passing for Paul Petchey to run some 30 metres to score in the corner.

The visitors' response was immediate, and Stephen Collins converted a penalty after a high tackle in front of the posts.

They nearly took the lead when they kicked the ball over Otley’s defence, but Collins was unable to ground it.

The Tigers took the lead with two further penalties on 18 and 24 minutes, the second after Brett Mitchell deliberately knocked on and was yellow carded.

In the second half, the score line see-sawed between the two sides, Declan Dunn passing from the ground to Stephen Nolson who put in Harry Skelton to score.

This was cancelled out four minutes later after Collins passed to William Lees, who went over.

After the first and only scrum penalty of the match, Otley put the ball in the corner and rolled the maul around the Tiger’s defence for Joe Graham to score.

Otley extended the lead when they seized a loose ball in their half, and hacked it forward. Further pressure culminated in a penalty, Joe Rowntree slotting it through the posts.

Sedgley then retook the lead, getting a penalty which they put into the right hand corner and then moved the ball across the pitch.

Clever passing saw Matthew Riley score on 63 minutes, which Collins converted.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Otley retook the lead when Joe Rowntree went over in the left hand corner and then added the conversion.

Three minutes later, the Tigers were again in front when a cross-field kick found prop Ben Black in space close to the line.

Fortunately the conversion was fluffed, an act compounded when Sedgley were unable to gather the restart cleanly.

The ball went forward and hit another Sedgley player, and Otley were awarded a penalty. Rowntree then stepped up to regain the lead for the Yorkshiremen.

Andrew Riley came close as he ran through onto a grubber kick, and Sedgley remained encamped in Otley’s half for the remainder of the game.

At the earliest opportune moment, Otley kicked the ball into touch to secure the win.

Will Rigg came on 25 minutes into the game for his 100th league appearance for Otley, who play Wharfedale in a derby at Cross Green this Saturday. Kick-off is at 2pm.