Hinckley 14

Otley 17

A JOE Rowntree penalty in the final minute saw Otley earn their first win of the National League Two North season on Saturday, and their first since March.

Otley went to Leicester Road ground knowing they had beaten Hinckley on the last two occasions, and for the first 15 minutes they had the ascendency.

The hosts then came into the game and forced Otley onto the back foot.

Down to 14 men after Joe Graham had been sent to the bin for a technical offence, the Hornets continued to mass on the Otley line.

In the 24th minute, Hinckley scored the first points of the game from a scrum on the left-hand side when Ben Pointon darted his way over the line. Joe Wilson converted.

Stung into action, Otley upped their game.

Max Johnson, who was playing his first game since December, was buzzing and and on the half-hour he passed the ball to Jack Mackie.

He then passed the ball to Simon Willett, who evaded one tackle before heading to the line. Ben Smith’s conversion levelled the scores.

On the stroke of half-time, following two penalties Otley were again close to the line.

From the line-out, Otley’s rolling maul trundled forward allowing Graham to peel off to score.

The second half was played primarily in Otley’s half and became an increasingly fractious game – topped by two yellow cards for the hookers.

For some 30 minutes Otley held out, and Hinckley finally made the pressure tell with seven minutes to go when Mitchell Lamb evaded a final tackle - Joe Glover’s conversion suggesting another draw was on the cards.

Hinckley took a tap penalty close to the end of the game, and Otley’s defence was again up to the challenge regaining possession.

Mackie kicked the ball forward, and Johnson was first to get his hands on it.

Hinckley then gave away a penalty at the breakdown, playing the ball on the ground on their 10-metre line, and Joe Rowntree stepped up.

Once the ball was through the posts, the referee blew her whistle to announce Otley’s first win of the season.