Huddersfield’s fantastic run continued with a tight 13-6 win over an Otley side who had trounced them earlier on in the season.
The reverse fixture had seen ‘Field lose by 40 points but such is the improvement in Gareth Lewis’ men that they were able to extend their winning run to six matches.
The game started with a high tempo, both sides looking to get on the front-foot in what was a hugely important game in a vital period of the National II North season.
Huddersfield were the first to make an impact on the scoreboard, Joel Hinchliffe’s penalty after eight minutes giving them an early lead.
Otley responded well and scored a penalty of their own four minutes later through Stephen Depledge.
An even start to the game saw the away side edging it in the first 20 minutes and they moved into the lead on 24 minutes through another Depledge penalty following an offside decision.
Huddersfield were battling hard to get some control of the match but were struggling to put any real pressure on the Otley defence. A rare break saw Elliot Knight almost get through for a try after a quick move but he dropped the ball at the last.
The game swung both ways for the rest of the first half with Otley enjoying some late pressure before the break, with the game hard to call.
It’s become a habit of Huddersfield to come out after half-time looking sharper and this time was no different, the home side immediately putting their guests under pressure with some quick passing, just unable to break down the defence.
Eventually the scores were levelled on 55 minutes, Hinchliffe scoring another penalty to make it 6-6.
Otley responded by piling on more pressure in a prolonged attack which saw the Huddersfield defence hold on staunchly, demonstrating perfectly the improvements since the two sides’ last encounter.
After holding out from that, Huddersfield responded with some attacking play of their own. Otley were forced to defend several scrums deep in their own half and for the first time in the match were looking shaky.
The breakthrough finally came on 68 minutes. After Otley had held out for so long, a sloppy pass in their own half was intercepted by Elliot Hodgson to run through and complete the simplest of tries.
In truth it seemed likely that the game would be decided by such a mistake and Joel Hinchliffe completed the conversion to increase Huddersfield’s lead with not long to go.
The game finally opened up and Otley put on pressure in a tense last 10 minutes for the home fans.
However, Huddersfield held out valiantly to complete a vital win over one of their top-half rivals and maintain their fantastic 100% winning record in 2015.
Team: Hodson, Knight, Hodgson, Owen, Hall, Hinchliffe, Jeffrey, Walker (H), Battye, Purcell, Thompson, Rhodes, Malthouse, Hoyle, Sharpe
Subs: Morrill, Thornton, Sanderson, Rawsthorne, Clark
Tries: Elliot Hodgson (68)
Conversions: Joel Hinchliffe (68)
Penalties: Joel Hinchliffe (8), (55)
Sharples, Hudson, Mackie, White, Roberts, Rhodes, Depledge, Birkenshaw, Steele, Chivers, Cooke, Stannard, O’Donnell, Heaton, Watson
Subs: Wales, McEndoo, Paul, Dunn, Beaumont
Penalties: Stephen Depledge (12), (24)