For the first ever meeting between the clubs, Broadstreet RFC welcomed Otley RFC to the Ivor Preece Field Rugby Ground for Round Twelve of the National League Two North campaign.
Trailing 3 – 17 after only thirteen minutes, the fighting comeback of Broadstreet’s ‘Braves’ provided some ‘sunshine’ on an otherwise dank and dreary afternoon, with a first half downpour matching the Rugby Road Boy’s early deluge of points conceded. Two tries from Otley’s, Coventry raised, Leeds Carnegie Student, Harry Hudson; both converted by scrum half Stephen Depledge, [bracketing his sixth minute penalty and one from ‘Street’s Ben Palmer on nine minutes], gave Broadstreet an almighty fright with just thirteen minutes on the clock, writes Bob Harcourt. Shaken but not stunned, the response was almost as quickly delivered as, firstly, talented full back Barry Davies joined the backline to glide through for a try out to the right four minutes on; which Palmer converted magnificently from wide and this was followed on the half hour by centre Andrew Murray scoring in almost the same spot and Palmer, again, stroking over the long distance shot to make it all square at 17 – 17! Between these scores Captain and flanker Jamie Harrop picked up a yellow card for handling in a close-in ruck, making ‘Street’s fight back all the more commendable when fielding a man short for the Murray try. However, worse was to come, because as Harrop was about to re-join his team, left wing Ashley Elvers went to the sin bin for tripping an Otley player as the latter chipped ahead in ‘Street territory. From the ensuing right hand corner penalty lineout, Otley drove first and then eventually went wide left, where winger Alex Beaumont dived in at the corner flag. The kick was too much for Depledge but Otley had regained the lead at 17 – 22 with three minutes remaining before the break. From the try restart Otley gathered and drove, but eventually conceded a turnover just inside their half and from the penalty award, Palmer boomed over a 40 plus metre kick to close the gap and the half.
Half Time: Broadstreet 20 Otley 22.
Broadstreet restarted the game, still down to 14 players, but came out fired up. An exchange of long range kicks saw Davies loft a sky-scraper allowing chasers to hold the catcher and set up an attacking platform in opposition territory. Otley, who retained scrum possession, failed to clear adequately and Palmer gathered around half way, stepped inside a chaser to break, and when half held, popped a short ball to the well-positioned Davies who handed on to centre Nathan Tilsley 10 metres out and, although held, dragged defenders over the line for a well taken score. Palmer added the extras and ‘Street gained the lead 27 – 22 for the first time, with only five minutes of the second half played. Three minutes later, the impeccable kicking of Palmer bagged another long range penalty goal as Otley started to fall away, 30 – 22, and then ‘Street took almost total control of the possession and territory for a long period, but, with Otley defending heroically and ‘Street helping the defence with unforced errors, it took a 28th minute interception by right wing poacher Jeff Gregson to clinch the all-important fourth try bonus-point, as Otley broke out of ‘Street’s strangle hold for their first sortie into the home half. Palmer converted to push the ‘Street boys into a 37 – 22 lead with twelve minutes left on the clock. The home side relaxed a little through unforced errors and with Otley still eyeing at least a two points away consolation, the visitors gave themselves every chance when Beaumont grabbed his second touchdown wide out on the right to reduce his side’s deficit to 10. The conversion was missed, but, compliments of a late run of long range attacking penalty awards, Depledge tried his best to land one of them, in order to gain the extra point. One of the penalties awarded which could have given Otley a second bonus point, was for ‘chopsing’ (mouthing at the referee); [a description used in commentary once by Jonathan Davies] when an Otley player’s physical, no arms, body check was questioned and was, it could be claimed, dis-proportionately punished with a penalty award. Such indiscretion can cost us dearly, whatever the injustice felt. The ‘chopsing’ and the offence taken are, unquestionably equally hasty in their deliverance, but, we have to remember, there is only an individual outcome when it comes to punishment – there is only one whistle!!
Final Score: Broadstreet 37 Otley 27.
Squad: Barry Davies; Jefferey Gregson, Andrew Murray, Nathan Tilsley, Ashley Elvers; Ban Palmer, Pierre Ferre; Joe Foreman, Stewart Pearl, Jake Dodd; Callum Tucker, Matthew Solomon; Chris Zutic, Jamie Harrop (C), Beau Carney. Henry Sandys, Chris Wood, Roan van Heerden, Nick Thatcher, James Otutaha.
Thought for the Game:
Otley expected to win this match – sixth versus fifteenth. Why wouldn’t they? ‘Street - not expected to win; 17 – 3 down in the opening minutes; two yellow cards and seven changes from last week - there are the ‘excuses’ and the message! Nothing external matters really, because, to overcome any perceived odds it is attitude, discipline and concentration that counts. To succeed as a team everyone has to be positive, pro-active and relentless – every minute of every game! Come on Lads, more, never less - concede nothing and stay disciplined!