OTLEY got their first double of the season, winning 16-8 against their Nation League Two North derby rivals Wharfedale at Cross Green on Saturday.

Initially playing against a gusty wind, the home side had to absorb a lot of pressure being hemmed into their own half for the first 15 minutes.

In a game dominated by defences, Otley’s held up well and they began to break free, the first scrum brought them a penalty on Wharfedale’s ten-metre line, Joe Rowntree stepping up to knock it between the posts.

Dale attacked again from the restart and soon had an attacking line-out after Otley did not roll away quickly enough.

Ex-Otley player Jack Blakeney-Edwards put the ball into the scoreboard corner, and whilst Wharfedale won the ball they came up against a brick wall.

Their momentum was lost with a knock-on in midfield and an Otley scrum.

With a scrum penalty in the bag, Otley ran the ball and Ben Magee broke up to the halfway line.

A further break by Will Burns shattered the Dale defence and, despite having two players receiving treatment, Otley spun the ball right to use the overlap to create space for Adam Malthouse to score in the cemetery corner.

Blakeney-Edwards brought the half to an end with a penalty, after two high tackles by Otley, reaching his 100-point mark for his club.

Joe Graham's try two minutes into the second half put Otley up 13-3 and another Rowntree penalty made it 16-3 in the 55th minute.

Going into the fourth quarter, Wharfedale stepped up their game.

A penalty put into Otley’s 22 on the right saw Tom Asejevs coming close.

They continued their assault down the left hand side and, after three penalties, Dan Stockdale was driven over to cut the lead to 16-8.

Otley saw out the game keeping the ball close to ensure another derby win.

Otley have now beaten Wharfedale in their last four league matches.

The scrappy derby at Cross Green followed victories by Otley at The Avenue last September (16-14), at Cross Green in December 2017 (20-13) and at Threshfield three months previously (17-14).

Wharfedale’s last victory over their valley rivals came at Grassington in December 2016 (27-17) but they haven’t beaten Otley at Cross Green since May 2010 when both clubs were in National League One, with the Dalesmen triumphing 35-18 – also a run of four matches.

Other victories for Otley over Wharfedale at Cross Green were by 39-27 in September 2016 and 31-14 (in National League One) in March 2011.

However, Otley’s director of rugby Charlie Maunder was not entirely happy with their latest derby triumph.

He admitted: “It says something that when you beat Wharfedale, which is always a hard match, yet you are a bit disappointed.

“It was a scrappy game but Adam Malthouse (flanker), Will Burns (No 8) and, after he came on, Danny Adu (who replaced injured full back Ben Magee) were excellent, and our pack were dominant.”

Despite the setback which leaves them seven points above a relegation berth with a game in hand, Wharfedale’s head coach Jon Feeley said: “I am positive about our future. We just couldn’t finish our attacks off, and that is the challenge for us.”