Tigers shot down by classy Otley

First published in Sport by

SEDGLEY PARK 20, OTLEY 43 National League Division One, IF only referee Tim Wigglesworth had blown for good at half-time, Sedgley would have collected their first win of the season.

But games are played over 80 minutes and Park went onto squander a 20-12 lead by conceding a further 31 unanswered points in the second half to yet again lose a game they should have won.

The game opened with a kicking duel between the two stand-offs, with Tigers' Phil Jones taking on Otley's Simon Binns, with the Yorkshireman putting his side 0-6 ahead inside ten minutes with two well taken penalty goals.

Jones then had an opportunity to claw three points back, but instead kicked the penalty for field position, only to see the ball knocked-on following a successful line-out take. However, a few minutes later he did elect to kick for goal from 20 metres and halved the deficit. But on 16 minutes Binns restored the six-point gap with his third kick.

A minute into the second quarter and the Tigers finally made a breakthrough. A scrum, following a penalty and line-out was won and scrum-half Chris Leck fed Jones, whose looping diagonal run featured a repertoire of jinks and dummies, ending with the former England A' man crossing the Otley line over by the right-hand corner flag. He then added the conversion to put the Tigers into a 10-9 lead.

On 27 minutes both sides lost a player to yellow cards when Otley lock Paul Williams decided to rough up Park centre Chris Biers on the floor, only for Jaco Swart to dive in to help out his Tiger teammate in an uneven contest and both Williams and Swart got a ten minute ban.

On the half-hour Jones again missed with another penalty goal attempt, however, Ed Norris caught the resulting 22 drop out and the ball was swung right to left, with Briers timing his pass to the on-rushing Arno De Jager to perfection, and the South African fullback cut inside to go over to the left of the Otley's posts to give Jones the simplest of kicks to make it 17-9.

Two minutes into time added on, Jones sank a 45-metre penalty to extend the Tigers' lead to 20-9. But Otley had the last say when Binns kicked his fourth two minutes later to make the score at the turnaround 20-12 to the home side.

In the second half, four unanswered tries - all converted by Binns the boot' - along with a fifth Binns' penalty caught the Tigers sadly napping.

Seven minutes in and Jones missed another penalty kick at goal, this time from 38 metres and from then on it was all one-way traffic.

On 54 minutes, the visitors won a turnover and impressive Number Eight Maifea Maifea carried the ball diagonally before unleashing winger Steve Parsons, whose blistering turn of speed left the Sedgley defence in his wake, Four minutes later a downfield punt from scrum-half Neil Chivers completely flummoxed opposite number Leck, who was left grasping fresh air by the bounce of the ball and the scavenging James Tiffany stole in to grab possession and had time to offload to Hyde with the former Leeds Tyke crashing over from short range to give Binns a straight forward two-pointer to make it 20-26.

On 69 minutes Binns stroked over another three-pointer and it was followed by two further converted tries.

Otley were awarded a penalty kick 30 metres from the Tigers' line, and a by now demoralised Park outfit were caught napping by the speed of the tap and go, with the ball going from left to right where Danny Smith popped it up nicely for Maifea, who went over in the corner.

Three minutes later another incisive piece of passing gave Binns time and space to slip the ball inside to Parsons and he again evaded the Sedgley cover to go over for his second try of the afternoon.

With five games gone the Tigers now find themselves bottom with only two points and the only team not to have won a game.

Things don't get much easier on Sunday either, when they visit the Headingley Carnegie home of the Leeds Tykes (kick-off 2.30pm).

SEDGLEY PARK: De Jager, Roko, Craig, Briers, Voortman (Naulivou, 75), P. Jones, Leck (J. Albinson, 73), Gazzola, Roddam (M. Jones, 64), Du Plessis, Swart, Norris, Newton (Bennett, 55), Ponton, Skurr (Jope, 75). Not used: Evans, Livesey.

Tries: Jones (20), De Jager (30) Conversions: P. Jones 2 Penalties: P. Jones 2 Yellow Card: Swart l IT was a miserable weekend for Bury RUFC, who went down to a 99-0 defeat against Kirkby Lonsdale.

This Saturday, Bury entertain local rivals Bolton in the First Round of the Lancashire Plate.

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